When OGRE sentience first emerged in 2087, it posed a challenge to Combine cyberneticists. These new self-aware OGREs generally outperformed their non-sentient brethren on the battlefield; it was almost two years, however, before the phenomenon of AI “emergence” was understood well enough to design for. In the interim, it was discovered that AI sentience could be “induced” under conditions of extreme stress.
Several approaches were tried, but the most successful was to subject a “newborn” AI to a series of gruelling simulations, hoping to prod it into self-awareness. Callous programmers developed cruel scenarios and ran AIs repeatedly through them. Not suprisingly, many of the minds which achieved sentience under such conditions exhibited mental instability. Most of these dangerously unbalanced AIs were weeded out before entering service, but more than one maladapted mind slipped through.
I’ve always wanted to run scenarios with a bunch of “little” OGREs instead of a single big one. But you don’t get much variety with a squad of basic Mk. Is. Plus, the Mk. I is tankbait – a single good shot can take out its only real weapon. Might as well pick up two superheavies for the same cost; you’d have three times the attack strength and you can divide your attacks.
The Mk. I was in production for decades; you’d expect that the superpowers would be able to make a few tweaks during that time…
The South American campaign has not been going well for the Combine. Nova Brasilia, backed by Paneuropean cybertanks, has regained much of the Amazon Combat Zone. After the Combine regional HQ was crushed beneath a Doppelsoldner, a general retreat was finally ordered. Many of the senior officers managed to escape in hovertrucks, and, along with a rag-tag escort of GEVs, are attempting to flee northward to Columbia. The swiftest route takes them through a pass in the badlands. Unfortunately for the Combine remnants, their path is blocked by waiting Paneuropean forces.
OGRE and its sequel, GEV, are tactical ground combat games set in the not-so-distant future. Starting in 2000, SJ Games relaunched the OGRE line, including Shockwave, the OGRE Reinforcement Pack, and OGRE Battlefields. This was the version that got me into wargaming, and over time I wrote some additional material for the game. With the successful Designer’s Edition Kickstarter, I’m obsessed with the game again and have been putting my material back on the web.
You can take a look at the official SJ Games OGRE site and the Designer’s Edition page. There is also some activity on the OGRE/GEV forums. It is indeed a good time for late 21st century tactical nuclear tank warfare…
OGRE is a trademark of Steve Jackson Games. All rights concerning them are reserved by SJ Games. This material is used in accordance with the SJ Games online policy. The material presented here is my original creation, intended for use with OGRE/GEV from Steve Jackson Games. This material is not official and is not endorsed by Steve Jackson Games.
Header images are swiped (without permission) from Denis Loubet’s STL OGRE Sculpts, © SJ Games.