Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Ogre Project, Part I - Inventory

Regular readers will recall that I am a huge fan of Steve Jackson's Ogre/GEV in nearly all of its incarnations. The basic premise is simple; in the not-so-distant future, giant cybernetic tanks-- Ogres-- dominate the battlefield. They wade through masses of enemy tanks, infantry, and hovercraft-- GEV's-- in order to obtain their objectives.

Fencers and Ogres awaiting completion.
The game was originally a Microgame, but was soon followed by numerous expansions, scenario packs, etc. One of the offshoots of the game was a version played with miniatures. SGJ has gone through several different incarnations of miniature lines for Ogre/GEV, and I collected quite a few from their Warehouse 23 (and have a few stragglers from other lines).

Everything to be painted or assembled.
Over the years, some of them have been assembled, some painted, and a large number left in silent, disassembled, glittering pewter. I'd really love to break them out for our upcoming Board and Wargames day at the FLGS, so I thought I'd see what state my own armies were in.

The first step was to take an inventory of what I've got and what state it's in. Turns out I have a lot more work to do than I thought. Here's the breakdown.

The Paneuropean forces so far.
PANEUROPEAN (Painted)
  • 1 Howitzer
  • 1 Mobile Howitzer
  • 6 GEVs
  • 6 Light GEVs
  • 4 Missile Tanks
  • 4 Light Tanks
  • 4 Heavy Tanks
  • 1 Superheavy Tank
  • 1 Command Post
The Combine forces so far.
COMBINE (Painted)
  • 3 Howitzers
  • 6 GEVs
  • 12 Light GEVs
  • 4 Missile Tanks
  • 2 Light Tanks
  • 8 Heavy Tanks
  • 2 Superheavy Tanks
  • 4 GEV PCs
  • 54 Infantry
  • 9 Infantry (Marines)
  • 9 Infantry (Heavy Weapons)
  • 9 Infantry (Combat Engineers)
PANEUROPEAN (Unpainted/unassembled)
Infantry, GEV PCs, and bases.
  • 1 Howitzer
  • 4 Mobile Howitzers
  • 10 Light Tanks
  • 6 GEVs
  • 6 Light GEVs
  • 4 Missile Tanks
  • 1 Superheavy Tank
  • 10 Heavy Tanks
  • 75 Infantry
  • 6 GEV PCs
  • 2 Fencer cybertanks
COMBINE (Unpainted/unassembled)
GEVs
  • 2 Superheavy Tanks
  • 1 Howitzer
  • 10 Heavy Tanks
  • 14 GEVs
  • 4 Missile Tanks
  • 2 Light Artillery Drones
  • 3 Ogre Mark IIIs
  • 1 Ogre Mark V
MISCELLANEOUS (Unpainted/unassembled)
  • 36 Infantry Bases
  • 2 Command Posts
  • 1 Hardened Command Post
  • 2 Laser Towers
  • 3 Lasers
  • 6 Hovertrucks (w/cargo)
Light and Heavy tanks
So, I've definitely got some work ahead of me! I'm not sure I'll be able to get it all done by game-day, but I'll certainly give it a go. Much of the painting is fairly easy; spray-on olive for the combine units, spray-on gray for the Paneuropean units, and then touch-up with some bright colors for interest. The Ogres are going to be the hardest to paint (and assemble; I've got to find something to use as bases for them).

The plan is to spend this weekend assembling, trimming flash, and maybe priming the vehicles, and then the next week and a half painting them up. I'll try to post some pictures of my progress (if any).

Word of the Day - "Staviary"

Staviary - noun, portmanteau formed from the English "stable" and "aviary". An enclosure where flying steeds (ex.: pegasuses, hippogriffs, griffons, etc.) are cared for, fed, and sheltered until such time as they are needed for travel. 
"I will have instructions sent to the staviary, the place which houses the hippogriffs, and all will be ready at the appointed hour. Eight mounts and an escort of Her Majesty's Guards will await. You will be taken as far as the northernmost edge of the Kron Hills." - Gary Gygax, Artifact of Evil, p. 127.

Greyhawk Session 15

I think tonight finally marks the end of using the FLGS as the location for our game. Last time, we were moved into a different room to accommodate the Friday night Pokemon tournament, and it wasn't the most pleasant of experiences. The room was loud, conducted sound extremely poorly, and just generated a din that made hearing ourselves at the table nearly impossible. This time, the same thing happened, and rather than suffer through it, we upped and went to my house (a mere 10 minutes away, thankfully) and gamed in the dining room. Blessed silence, with only the occasional 9 year old and fur-bearing critter to interrupt.

Present tonight were Ehrendar Dawngreeter, elf mountebank; Kabliska, human mystic; Theric, paladin of Pholtus; Mongo, half-orc fighter; Ardo, human cleric of Pelor; and Sir Faust Ensign, human Cavalier. The session began with Theric being summoned to the temple of Pholtus to assist with a problem. A relic, previously stored in the temple vaults, had been stolen; the Eyes of Sandora.

Naturally, the paladin was eager to assist, and the party began to gather intelligence for their investigation. The Eyes were noticed missing only a few days ago, and divination could only reveal that they were still within the precincts of the city. Being a relic, the Eyes made divination nearly impossible. The Eyes themselves were kept in a golden reliquary that was also studded with gems, and had the power not only of x-ray vision but also of seeing into the Ethereal plane.

The Thieves' Guild was all but ruled out as a suspect, both by history (they had never before raided the Temple, and had no reason to change their policy now) and by attestation (the Guildmaster assured the Elder Brother of the Temple, both of whom serve as members of the Council of Oligarchs, that the Guild was innocent, and the Elder Brother believes him). The only unusual occurrence in the Temple itself prior to the theft was the arrival of one Torgood Mulron, a member of an ultra-orthodox sect in northern Nyrond. He was in the temple claiming sanctuary, as his sect is currently being persecuted by certain nobles in Nyrond.

The party interviewed Torgood and found him to be nervous, evasive, and seemingly hiding something. So their next step was to make contact with members of the Beggar's Union. A watch was placed upon the Temple of Pholtus, and then a visit was made to the party's contacts within the Thieves' Guild itself. Rumors spread about the theft (which the Temple had hitherto managed to keep quiet), especially mentioning the source as "a paladin", which quickly occasioned another visit from Karro Ledbetter, the jester cum thief. He brought the party up to speed on the Guild's side of the story-- they didn't pull the heist, and were busily tracking down leads to find the Eyes and thus clear their name. The party volunteered to assist, given that they were already working on the issue from the other side, and were told that there was what the Guild considered a "cold lead" that they could pursue if they wished.

The lead turned out to be a dead barmaid, who had contacted the Guild within the last day or two, claiming to have information about the Eyes. Alas, she was slain in a barroom brawl before the information could be obtained. The party visited the waterfront tavern, called the Nine Eels, and promptly offended the locals to the point where a full-on brawl ensued. It was a nice opportunity to break out the Adventures Dark and Deep weaponless combat rules, which worked really well in practice, but the whole thing was eventually cleared out by the bar keep, Archie, who happened to have a wand of fear handy for just such emergencies. The bar emptied in a panicked flight (including the half-orc!), and the remaining adventurers were told in no uncertain terms to get out.

The one-eyed barmaid, Arva, at the Nine Eels did offer some information to the party before they left, however, telling them that Loretta, the slain barmaid, was having an affair with one Gunari, a Rhennee of whom she did not think much. Gunari had been in the tavern when the fight broke out, but managed to slip away in the excitement. It turned out that Gunari had a room above the tavern, and Arva offered to bring one of the party up there, but it had to be done quickly, while Archie was still cleaning up after the brawl. The paladin went with her, with the help of a silence 15' radius spell to make his approach stealthy.

Despite that advantage, when he came to the room, the paladin, upon hearing someone moving about within, knocked on the door. Immediately the noise ceased, and when the room was finally entered, there was nothing there except a hastily emptied chest and an empty potion vial. Clearly, Gunari had been there but fled with the help of some potion, possibly one of invisibility. He was gone.

The party had a name to go on now, however, and was not without its own resources within the Rhennee community. Baldo, owner of the Rusty Rat tavern, knew of Gunari and had little love for him. It turned out that Gunari was largely shunned within the Rhennee community, being a member of the "red ruby cult", of which Baldo would say no more. The temple of Rao was more forthcoming, however, and identified the cult as one being dedicated to the Arch-Fiend, which had been driven out of the city some years ago and banned, its centers destroyed. If they had returned to Greyhawk, it would be an ill omen indeed.

At this point, though, the hour had grown late and we decided to break for the evening. Still, I personally greatly enjoyed this sort of scenario, which was a departure from the last several sessions which were straight dungeon-crawls. The party managed to catch many of the clues leading them in the right direction, even if the quarry was (temporarily?) lost. I found it a refreshing change, and I hope the players did, too. This sort of adventure always has the potential for frustration when clues are missed and the next link in the chain can't be reached. That didn't happen in this particular adventure, and I hope the players had as much fun with it as I did.

And of course, the Eyes are still not recovered...