I played Ogre last night with a friend of mine, Rob Kohr, who was visiting from out of state.
It was my first time playing Ogre at all in years, and my first time with the big game. My countermix is punched out, but most of my Ogres and buildings are still getting the punch-and-Sharpie treatment.
It was Rob's first time with Ogre, ever.
To handicap it, I took the Paneuropeans defending the command post using the example counter mix (3 heavies, 3 missile tanks, 4 GEVs, and - my one change - a Howizer instead of a mobile howitzer.) I also put the CP in the upper left hand corner (I usually go upper right) and the howitzer in the middle. I figured it was his first game ever, so doing something cute like a LGEV swarm or an all-heavies defense or the four howitzer defense or something was just not going to be fair or fun.
I gave him the ogre, because, well, the game is both interesting and fun as the ogre and a little overwhelming on the defense that first time.
He decided on the "straight up the side, I'm a CPU on a suicide mission" approach. It served him pretty well.
I decided on a "swamp the side and shoot of the guns" approach, while my GEVs flanked him.
This was a bit of a mistake, because the lack of stuff to run over meant I didn't get tread kills from ramming attempts, and I swung my GEVs too wide to avoid missile fire and didn't become a factor until the second half of the game.
Some awful rolling against his treads didn't help, either - he was most of the way to the CP before I blew him down to Move 2, and although he had no guns left by then it didn't matter. He rolled over the CP. A turn later I got lucky and mowed off the rest of his treads and crippled the Mark III in place.
Better use of the GEVs - more aggressive use, anyway - and better howitzer placement would have helped.
It was a lot of fun. I don't feel bad losing, even to someone in their first game. It had been years. Rob is a good game player and he's great at prioritizing missions and not being distracted. He had plenty of chances to sidetrack for extra kills, but decided it might jeopardize his main goal (kill the CP) for a chance at an easier escape. I also provided advice and answered his questions - so I made sure he understood that missiles are one-shot and if he didn't shoot them at me I was going to shoot them off of him, the relative strengths of units, etc. Nothing sucks for me, personally, more than playing a game vs. an experienced player who says "Yeah, you really should have . . . " after not explaining that stuff when it mattered. So I'm very helpful until you know the ropes.
We only had time for one game, sadly. I'm looking forward to playing more Ogre when I get the chance. My brother in law will play, surely, if I can lug the set over on the holidays . . .