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 Mk. I remained in production as long as the Combine lasted, and were effective as light raiders in terrain where human troops could perform well, such as remote jungles and tundra. Here is my take on “early models” (the original Mk. I, the Mk. I Missileman, and the Mk. I Sasquatch) and some “late models” (the Mk. I-B, Mk. I-C, plus the Paneuro Pikeman). Mk. II variants are also touched upon. Furthermore, Combine and Paneurope deployment practices using the smaller OGREs are described.
2.0 OGRE Mk. I Variants
2.10 Early Mk. I Models. Although the earliest of the battle-line cybertanks, the Mk. I remained in production throughout the Last War simply because it was the only OGRE small enough to be transported by conventional means. Perhaps a larger OGRE would be even better… but often they can’t get there. Because the Mk. I saw service for so many years, numerous prototypes, modifications, and variants were developed.
2.101 OGRE Mk. I. The Mk. I was a workhorse of the Last War, even with its vulnerable main battery. Licensed copies and knock-offs were used by armies the world over, since the Combine sold the design to its allies and even to many neutral countries. The original Mk. I is worth 20 points (4 armour units).
OGRE Mk. I 1 Main Battery (4/3, D4): O 4 Antipersonnel (1/1 against infantry only, D1): O O O O 15 Tread Units (Starting M3): O O O O O (M2) O O O O O (M1) O O O O O (M0)
2.102 OGRE Mk. I Missileman. The “Missileman” was a Mk. I variant equipped with a missile turret (similar to that of a Combine missile tank). They were used to support squads of Mk. Is, sacrificing firepower for extended range. Relatively few saw service in the Paneuropean theatre of war. The Missileman is worth 25 points (4 armour units).
OGRE Mk. I Missileman 1 Missile Turret (3/4, D3): O 4 Antipersonnel (1/1 against infantry only, D1): O O O O 15 Tread Units (Starting M3): O O O O O (M2) O O O O O (M1) O O O O O (M0)
2.103 OGRE Mk. I Sasquatch. Actually a field modification using a Combine “Bigfoot” mobile howitzer, with the main battery replaced by a missile gun. Although ingenious, these units were not able to achieve the same range or accuracy as conventional mobile howitzers and proved very susceptible to attack. The value of one unit is 30 points (or 5 armour units, since it’s custom-built).
OGRE Mk. I Sasquatch 1 Missile Gun (5/5, D2): O 4 Antipersonnel (1/1 against infantry only, D1): O O O O 15 Tread Units (Starting M3): O O O O O (M2) O O O O O (M1) O O O O O (M0)
2.20 Late Mk. I Models. The following Mk. I variants were used by Combine from about 2086 on. Developed in response to the Paneuro Pikeman, they weren’t produced by other nations – although some were sold or loaned to allies.
Later Combine designs solved issues with Mk. I firepower by incorporating two main guns (similar to the Superheavy). The revised cybertank also featured hardened treads, and there was an alternate chassis design with improved speed. The two operating configurations were designated as the Mk. I-B and Mk. I-C.
2.201 OGRE Mk. I-B. After the “liberation” of Paneurope, Combine engineers decided that the venerable Mk. I was due for a refit. The Superheavy turret design was adapted for the new Mk. I-B, along with more durable tread units. It costs 30 points (5 armour units), and is only available after 2086.
OGRE Mk. I-B 2 Main Guns (3/3, D3): O O 4 Antipersonnel (1/1 against infantry only, D1): O O O O 18 Tread Units (Starting M3): O O O O O O (M2) O O O O O O (M1) O O O O O O (M0)
2.202 OGRE Mk. I-C. Utilizing the drivetrain advancements from the Mk. IV design, a raider-type Mk. I variant was built. The Mk. I-C is worth 35 points (6 armour units), and becomes available in 2088.
OGRE Mk. I-C 2 Main Guns (3/3, D3): O O 4 Antipersonnel (1/1 against infantry only, D1): O O O O 16 Tread Units (Starting M4): O O O O (M3) O O O O (M2) O O O O (M1) O O O O (M0)
2.204 OGRE Mk. II-B variant. The Mk. II had the same turret design as the Mk. I, which meant that new weapon system was usable on both OGREs. New Mk. II variants were never factory-produced, but some old units were field-modified with two main guns. These so-called “Mk. II-Bs” were extremely rare (costing 60 points / 10 armour units).
2.30 Paneuropean Mk. Is. The Pikeman was Paneurope’s version of the Mk. I, and is presented here as having two secondary batteries instead of a single main. (And two more APs; definitely non-canon.) The turret design is similar to the one used on the Fencer-A and is not compatible with any of the Combine versions.
2.301 Pikeman. Paneurope did build some knock-off Mk. Is using the Sheffield templates, but independently designed their own upgraded version before too many of the older models were produced. Equipped with two secondaries, the Pikeman actually reached the field before the North American I-B, but were never as common as the Combine Mk. Is (the superheavy was considered more cost-effective). The value of one unit is 20 points (4 armour units).
Pikeman 2 Secondary Batteries (3/2, D3): O O 6 Antipersonnel (1/1 against infantry only, D1): O O O O O O 15 Tread Units (Starting M3): O O O O O (M2) O O O O O (M1) O O O O O (M0)
(The extra two AP are from the Fencer-A turret. I might believe in the existence of a “Pikeman-B” with two main guns like the superheavy [and two less AP]. Superior to the Mk. I-B, the Pikeman-B would be worth 35 points / 6 AU.)
3.0 Mk. I Deployment
3.10 Standard Combine deployment. Early in the Last War, Mk. I (and Mk. II) OGREs were typically deployed alongside heavy tanks, and were rarely used alone or in all-OGRE groups. Although their effect on the enemy was impressive, most troops were uncomfortable serving with the robotic cybertanks. Starting in the Siberian campaign, OGRE-only assaults became common. A standard assault force consisted of two Mk. Is escorting a Mk. III (150 points total); Mk. I/Mk. II pairs were also commonly used (75 points). When the Missileman and Sasquatch were introduced, groups of two or three regular Mk. Is were sometimes accompanied by one or two of the variants (75 to 135 points).
Later in the war, Mk. I-Bs were often used as escorts for larger OGREs. A Mk. III-B would be deployed with two Mk. I-Bs (180 points), a Mk. V or VI would be accompanied by two Mk I-Bs and a Mk I-C (240 to 345 points). Groups consisting solely of smaller OGREs were still used, typically for rear defense, in squads of two or three Mk. I-Bs plus a one or two Mk. I-Cs (80 to 145 points).
In addition, Mk. Is were often deployed under sub-optimal conditions where transport of a larger OGRE could not be arranged. This was very common in the Amazon Combat Zone and the high arctic. Siberia and the Combine’s northern frontiers were patrolled extensively by Mk. Is and I-Bs throughout the Last War.
3.20 Standard Paneuropean deployment. The Pikeman was envisioned as a perfect escort for the Fencer-A. A Pikeman (or Mk. I knock-off) helped offset the early Fencer’s lack of main batteries, allowing the larger cybertank’s missiles to be preserved for larger targets (155 or 185 points). The Fencer-B, Huscarl, and others were better-suited for lone assaults, however, and demand for Pikemen as escorts diminished. Later in the war, Pikemen was used almost entirely for defense and were seldom deployed in attacks. Siberia was the exception, where Pikemen were instrumental in finally pushing the Combine out of Asia.