Thursday, January 2, 2014

Product Review: Ogre Designer's Edition

For Christmas, my wife gave me the biggest gift I've ever received since I was a kid:  The Ogre Designer's Edition game.  The only presents I got that were larger were my Apollo Racer banana seater and my Schwinn 10-speed. 

Because we both worked on Christmas Day, we didn't open our gifts until the 28th--plenty of time for me to ponder about the ginormous box in wrapping paper, which couldn't fit under the tree.  I had an inkling my wife went out and bought the game immediately upon my return from South Carolina.

I first saw Ogre Designer's Edition at one of the game stores I stumbled across on my trip.  I happened to mention this in passing and that my friend Adrian already purchased it.

(Image hijacked from Adrian's Facebook page)

No, this wasn't a "just happen to mention it"  (nudge-nudge-wink-wink).  

I vaguely remember buying Metagaming Concepts microgame back-in-the-day for less than $5--including sales tax.  This latest version costs $100--not including sales tax/shipping & handling--and weighs-in at nearly 30 pounds.  

So I was actually on the fence about buying this ogre-sized version of Ogre.  But thanks to my wife's attentiveness and generosity, I'm very happy to have this hot not-so-little item in my hands, which I have to constantly remind myself to lift with my legs and not with my back.

Speaking of cautionary moves, one of the first items I found when I tore off the cellophane the following day, was this poster-sized warning label...

...which advises the proud owner not to punch-out the 1K's worth of counters willy-nilly.  

Another poster--suitable for framing--is this blueprint of the Ogre MK V: 

The back of the box, along with an identical poster, is chock-full of info, to include the on-line support that's available.  This is how I obtained the link to the Steve Jackson Games website.  

The 1K's worth of counters I mentioned earlier come in four sealed packages that were actually attached outside the box.  

Here's a look at the flip side of the counter packages...

Because the game consists of 3-dimensional playing pieces ("some assembly required") a mere counter tray won't do.  Oh, no.  In order to house your ogre armies, the designers have provided you with an Ogre Garage:

What's especially nice about this super-sized counter tray, isn't just that there's enough space to store the playing pieces, but the receptacles are marked so you know what pieces go where.

The counters aren't the only thing super-sized either.  The game comes with 10 "hefty-hefty-hefty" mounted maps.  No "wimpy-wimpy-wimpy" paper maps in this product.  Eight of the maps fit into four holders of the counter tray.  (Yes in addition to the garage, there's a counter tray too).  

Two of the maps represent barren/radioactive wastelands, that still manage to fit in the box without specific holders... 

...while the other eight, like this one... 

...represent the as-yet-to-be-turned-into barren/radioactive wastelands.  

The almost-as-big-as-the-garage counter tray appears to be capable of holding all the 2-dimensional game pieces.

Two special dice are included, with unique symbols in place of the "1s." 

What I really like about the counter tray are the imprinted labels, so you know where all the non-3D pieces go.  

All joking aside about the game's girth, I do appreciate the size of the playing pieces.  At my age, my eyesight is no longer better-than 20/20.  A lot of my boardgames consist of the itty-bitty 1/2" counters, which I can only read with my reading glasses AND a magnifying glass.  So I'm happy I have a game that I can see the pieces with my naked eyeballs.

I don't think this product was made only to cater to us aging gamers either.  Since the pieces are so large, they should be durable enough to withstand abuse from any young 'uns you're trying to indoctrinate introduce to the gaming hobby.

Ogre Designer's Edition is a must-have for Ogre fans.  Even for you non-Ogre fans, this edition will make a fine addition to your collection.

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