In the past, I used to use a whole bunch of house rules, but have toned them down with the release of OGRE 6e. A great feature of OGRE is the elegant ruleset. Even a non-gamer can pick up the basics in less than an hour. The new Designer’s Edition cleans up some rules which originally led to confusion, but there are still things that I’d like to tweak.
1.10 House rules. Here are some changes that I think make OGRE play better:
1.101 Moving along railroads. (Amends Terrain Effects Table.) When moving along a railroad, Infantry and GEVs get a ‘road bonus’ and all other units may ignore the underlying terrain, treating the hex as clear. An OGRE following a railroad through a swamp, for example, would be at no risk of becoming stuck. If attacked while on a railroad, the defending unit receives the terrain bonus to defense (if any). Any unit may use railroad bridges over streams or rivers.
1.102 Disabled Units. (More of a convention than a house rule.) To keep track of armour recovery, when a unit is disabled we flip it over and place it upside-down relative to the other counters for that side. At the start of the player’s next turn, any upside-down disabled unit is placed right-side-up (again, relative to other counters) and any unit that is already right-side-up will recover.
1.103 Infantry stacking. A player can combine or separate infantry squads in a hex at any time during their turn. For example, if there are three 1/1 infantry squads in a hex, they may attack separately as three 1-point squads then group into one 3-point platoon for defense. The player must decide on a given squad arrangement at the end of their turn (ie, after the second movement phase) and ensure that the appropriate counter(s) are on the board. If attacked, the infantry are targeted exactly as shown – they cannot be rearranged. In short; a counter laid is a counter played. No fiddling with your units once your turn is over! (Overruns are an exception. Infantry still get divided into 1-point squads and must be attacked individually in any overrun. If any infantry survive, the remaining squads may be arranged however the owning player wishes.)
Carrying the “a counter laid is a counter played” rule a step further, I discourage stacking between regular infantry squads and marines or engineers (since they use separate counters). I never liked having to roll a die to figure out who got nerfed in a mixed squad anyways. Maybe elite soldiers don’t hang out with the regular grunts.
(I got annoyed with a certain player who would spend a minute figuring out odds for their infantry while defending against OGRE AP – and then get wiped out anyways. This was my solution.)
1.104 Infantry riding vehicles. The new edition changes the rules for mounting and dismounting vehicles in 5.11.3. Infantry must spend their full movement for the turn to mount and can dismount any turn thereafter (but cannot move on the same turn they dismount).
This creates one potential edge case with 8.05.3 and 8.06.1 if an armour unit carrying infantry rams or is rammed during an overrun. IMO, if the infantry was foolish enough to jump onto a vehicle which was just about to be involved in an overrun, then they’re stuck there – they cannot dismount until the following turn.
Also, it is suggested that the player indicates that soldiers are riding armour by placing the infantry counter on top of the armour counter. If the infantry is not mounted, place them beneath the armour counter.
1.105 Antipersonnel attacks. 7.05.1 states that no infantry unit may be attacked more than once per turn by AP. It’s a bit quirky and when gaming with new players I suggest that attacks from antipersonnel weapons may be divided normally, just like any other weapon. Once the player is familiar with the basics, then switch to the canonical firing restriction.
Also, AP guns in my games cannot destroy command posts. The buildings are not that flimsy.
1.106 GEV pronounciation. It sounds like “jev” or can be spelt out as “jee-ee-vee”.
Try these out in your games and let me know how they work. (Then go to check out the Other Rule Variants page.)