Leece and Rob's Decembercon 2013 Ogre Tournament
at the Western Australian Boardgaming Association
or "Get your hands off my main battery!"
Having backed the Ogre Designer's Edition Kickstarter some 18 months ago, when we received our copy we felt we had to share. "Decembercon, the WABA wind-up - some 11 hours of gaming - is coming up", we thought, "what better time to introduce a whole bunch of people to the game we played when we were courting?" So how best to introduce a lot of people to Ogre? A single massive game? No, that takes up too much time. "How-about a tournament?" Leece suggested. After a bit of thinking, Rob replied "Why not? It sounds like fun!".
So we put out feelers to see if there were going to be people interested. The feedback was generally positive, so we then had to think about how to run it. After a lot of to-ing-and-fro-ing, we came up with a fairly simple idea of having to play at least 3 games to qualify. At least 2 against the same player (each playing each side once), and also playing a third game against someone else. The first two games had to be the basic original scenario - a Mark III against the Command Post defenders. The third game gave a bit more flexibility, offering 130 points to spend on units (including Ogres), and a small GEV style map. For each of the basic games you could gain 0-3 points, and, for the duel, 1-4 points. You could play more games, and only your best scores counted.
Of course, a tournament is not a tournament without some sort of prize. As we were considering this, another of our kickstarters arrived. Twice.
We contacted the publisher, and were told "Oops - our bad, find the spare set a good home."
We had to think about it for, oh, seconds. We had our prize, thanks to the generosity of Indie Cards and Games (and Travis in particular), we had a complete set of Flashpoint: Fire Rescue to offer. This raised the interest quite a bit more, for some reason.
Came the day, we loaded up our Smart ForTwo with the massive Ogre box, and our restored and recovered classic editions (which gave us a total of four sets of the basic game, and enough to run two of the duel), the Flashpoint set, and the other various bits of paraphernalia that a tournament requires.
We set up on three end-to-end trestle tables, and went off to play another game we had committed to. For the first hour or two, nothing happened.
Then, as we started to hang around the boards, people suddenly surged in, and before we knew it, four games were running and we were running back and forth providing rulings and guidance. It was during this first flood of games that we overheard from two first-time players "Get your hands off my main battery" "I'm not touching your main battery, I'm just looking at it!"
After the first flood, and as more and more people realised what was on offer, the tables were humming more-or-less constantly for the remainder of the day, with the final game being finished at 10:15PM.
The duel games saw astounding variation - from the pure conventional force versus a lightly supported Mark III, to the hell-duel of a Fencer against two Mark IIs that saw the Ogres resorting to ramming each other to death, to the massed conventional forces with scattered Mark I's, and everything in between.
The final tally was astounding - 13 people recorded at least 1 play each, with some recording as many as 6, with a final total of 38 games being played over the course of the afternoon and evening. At the top we had two players on 6 points, but they were just pushed aside by someone who played the bare minimum of 3 games, but managed 7 points - despite getting 0 for the defence game!
With half an hour to go in the day, we announced the winner to great applause from the 40-odd people remaining at 10:30pm. At the peak of the day some 15 tables of gamers were playing something, we had four games of Ogre running, and at least 80 people in the room. I'm sure the WABA committee will tell us just how many people came to Decembercon, but one thing we are sure of: Everyone heard and saw Ogre!
Links: WABA Decembercon: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1060629/decembacon-2013-14-december-2013
Flashpoint: Fire Rescue: http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/100901/flash-point-fire-rescue