2016 was a year of transition for the Ogre line. We started the year with Steve Jackson shouldering the mantle of Line Editor and ended it with an amazingly successful Kickstarter for Ogre Miniatures Set 1. But did anything happen in between? Oh boy, did it ever!
When 2015 drew to a close, Steve resumed the title of Ogre Line Editor, becoming the third to hold that title since the position was re-established after the overwhelmingly successful 2012 Kickstarter for Ogre Designer’s Edition. As 2016 dawned, he released the results of the survey for what the promised expansion for ODE should include: first and foremost, maps G3 and/or S3 will be produced. Also, another 3-D Ogre and additional units are all likely to appear in this set, as determined from the survey results.
Acknowledging that some fans missed out on the Ogre Designer’s Edition Kickstarter, what was to become Ogre Sixth Edition moved forward, beginning as a mere concept at the start of the year and shipping by Christmas. This set promises to help bring the next generation of Ogre fans into the fold, while offering current fans a more portable option when transporting the game.
Fulfilling the promises of the Ogre Designer’s Edition Kickstarter campaign proved to be an ongoing theme for the year. Steve Jackson Games and Auroch Digital entered an agreement to produce an Ogre-based computer game, which in turn should fulfill the $300k stretch goal, even if we are a few years late from our initial projection. The hope and expectation is that we can announce a release at some point this year.
The Fan Scenario Contest entries, published on the website in 2015, moved towards a definitive endpoint as a published pdf. During this time I was invited to take over as the Ogre Line Editor, freeing Steve to do the myriad other tasks for which he was responsible. By the end of the year, we had published and distributed Ogre Scenario Book 2, a collection of 14 fan-created scenarios for public consumption.
Steve also promised to develop, release, and eventually publish, eight scenarios of his own. Seven have been posted (http://www.sjgames.com/ogre/scenarios/) with two more going up very soon. Yes, that is a total of nine. Steve is having fun! These will also be published as a digital file, tentatively Ogre Scenario Book 3.
The much-awaited release by Tom Smith finally reached our backers. Titled “Ogre Suite”, there is over 45 minutes of music on this album in a wide variety of styles. There is even a radio spot for Uncle Al! Tom’s album was also released on Bandcamp for those who were not backers of the Ogre Designer’s Edition Kickstarter.
Ogre Reinforcements is following close on Sixth Edition's treads, bringing both the ‘other’ units such as LGEVs, Mobile Howitzers, etc., as well as Town overlays and their associated rules, to Ogre Sixth Edition. This is at print now with an anticipated release in March.
Yet another stretch goal from the Ogre Designer’s Edition Kickstarter involved the review and release of rules for a variety of “new” units. These had only preliminary rules in past editions and were eagerly anticipated by players. Vulcans, Combat Engineers, Heavy Weapon Teams, Light Artillery Drones and the Ninja all received scrutiny and eventual publishing on the site. While still under review by forum members, most are close to being locked down as “official” units.
Finally, circling back to where it all started, we ran another Kickstarter in support of Ogre, this time debuting Ogre Miniatures Set 1. Even with steady support throughout the campaign, we almost doubled our totals in the last 72 hours. This unlocked numerous stretch goals including glow-in-the-dark Ogres and units! The response was so impressive we are already planning Ogre Miniatures Set 2.
Not everything worked out the way we wanted this past year. Although the revised rules for most of the new units such as LADs, HWTs, etc. were positively received, the revamped Ninja was met with mixed reviews at best. So back to the drawing board for everyone’s favorite stealth Ogre. The heavily anticipated expansion for Ogre Designer’s Edition is simply taking much longer than expected (but is most assuredly not forgotten). And Ogre Miniatures Second Edition has barely left the garage (slowed in part by the delay in developing a viable set of Ninja rules). But I can’t complain; Steve never said this would be easy!
So what should we expect from the coming year? Well, first and foremost 2017 marks the 40th Anniversary of Ogre. Don’t think that is going unnoticed! One of the exciting things being rolled out at Steve Jackson Games is our Organized Play program, and Ogre is the first game line to get the full treatment. There will be competitions (with prizes!) based primarily in your FLGSs. We have a surprise or two up our sleeves as well! This should be a fun and exciting way to expand the community of Ogre players.
Many of the products mentioned above as developed in 2016 will reach store shelves and W23 in 2017. Ogre Reinforcements, Ogre Miniatures Set 1, Ogre Scenario Book 3, and the Ogre computer game from Auroch all should be released this year.
We hope to have much more. Nightfall is still very much on my plate, and progressing steadily. I’ve already mentioned plans for an Ogre Miniatures Set 2. We will have a digital “look back” at some old products that still have relevance today. Plus there are a number of other ideas that I hope to move forward this year. Finally, we hope to answer a question of interest to both Ogre Designer’s Edition and Ogre Sixth Edition owners alike: Do Ogres like to get their treads wet?
So our 40th Anniversary celebration looks to be a good one. This all is due to the wonderful support and enthusiastic community made up of you, the Ogre fans. Thank you for being the greatest audience we could hope for! Now strap on your battlesuit, because 2017 is just getting started!
- Drew Metzger