Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How I Became an Ogre Fan

Ogre is one of the first wargames I ever played, I remember buying it in a little hobby store in Owosso, Michigan, on a trip to my grandparents house in the summer of 1977. I picked up WarpWar that summer too, but it never held my attention like Ogre did.

I had read a lot of science fiction up to that point, including Keith Laumer's Bolo!  The idea of self-aware cybernetic tanks that were willing to sacrifice themselves for humans touched me deeply. I was 13 years old.

Later that summer, I would go see a movie that my father thought I might like, it had a strange title though... "Star Wars".

I played Ogre with my gaming friends at school, we pretty much wore out my counters and map. We drew new maps, created new vehicles, larger and larger Ogres, you name it.
In 1980 I was with some gamer friends in Columbus Ohio, visiting game stores. We stopped at a discount store that sometimes carried closeout merchandise from game stores. While rooting around on the shelves I found some packages of lead Ogre miniatures from a company named Martian Metals. I still have some of those figures in my collection.

Over the years I kept buying Ogre miniatures, trying to build up my collection. The line would keep getting discontinued and restarted. It was frustrating. After a few years of nothing being available I would sell off parts of my collection. Eventually Steve Jackson Games returned to producing Ogre miniatures around 2000/2001, and I started buying again.

I spent a lot of time and money buying used miniatures on the secondary market to build up my forces.

The line went back out of print for a time, then finally came back as part of the Ogre 6e Kickstarter. Hopefully a way will be found to keep the line in print for a while.

Currently my collection is over 1500 vehicles, I have not counted them for some time though. Almost all of them are painted now. I'm a firm believer in not spending hours detailing a 1/300 scale tank. My philosophy on painting the vehicles was why spend hours painting something that lasts seconds on the board?


Joseph Bloch said...

Wonderful. I've only got a couple of Martian Metals' Ogre figures in my own collection (some mobile howitzers), but I share your frustration with the on again, off again status of the line.

Desert Scribe said...

1500 Ogre minis? Very impressive!

We will, of course, needs some pics :)

jfleisher said...

Well there are some pics in older posts.

 Ashley said...

Puts my meager collection into the shade. I of course, as you can probably guess, have a different position on the painting of said collection, but quantity surely does have a quality all of its own.

jfleisher said...

You do amazing work on your miniatures, I wish I could paint that well. I just posted another article about some of my painting techniques.

SquadPainter said...

Your experiences mirror my own; OGRE was my first wargame that I ever purchased or played. I was lucky enough to be on a field trip to San Diego's Old Town. I stumbled into Game Towne and spotted the polybagged game. It was in my price range and I picked it up. My friends weren't too interested, but I played the hell out of it.

I also picked up a few other Microgames: Lords of the Underearth, Olympica, and one I can't remember right now. They were all great, but OGRE was the best.

Thanks for the great post!

- Jeff