Tuesday, 8 January 2013

OGRE Scrabble

Here's Force White, one of my armies for OGRE Miniatures. It's an experiment in using Scrabble tiles to produce boardgame counters with which we play on an "open table". This technique is pretty handy for producing homebrew counters that are resilient and have a nice "feel" when used.

The graphics came from boardgamegeek - http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/77440/bostichs-white-counters is the relevant file.

After a couple of test prints I worked out that the correct scaling needed was 125% to fit the Scrabble tiles nicely. The sheet was printed out on my laser printer, laminated in a home laminator (about £15 from Wilkinsons and one of the most useful tools for gaming I own) and cut up with the Stanley knife and steel rule. The counters are then glued down with the tiniest drop of superglue applied with a cocktail stick. Only a small amount of glue is needed, otherwise it will ooze out from the side of the counter and spoil the effect.

However you need to be aware that not all Scrabble tiles are created equally. I bought a brand new set from Argos and then, on the same shopping trip, discovered another set going cheap in a charity shop. These were not identical tiles - one had stamped letters, the other had printed letters and they were slightly different in height. A friend came up with an incomplete set that had turned up in the loft of his new house purchase and they were different again. This might be a problem if this sort of thing annoys you but if so you could always go straight to eBay and buy new tile sets in bulk.

Furthermore, Scrabble tiles are not square. They are mostly about 19mm x 18mm so you'll need to take some care to ensure they all have the same orientation - I found it best to ensure that the counter read the same way up as the original Scrabble letter did.

With Force White created I needed some opposition and created Force Pink by printing the same file onto some thin coloured card and mounting to the other set of Scrabble tiles.

(The two forces in OGRE are traditionally black-on-white and white-on-black but I'll be damned if I'm using that much toner on creating them).

I mentioned before that these are for OGRE Miniatures, not the boardgame so they have been used on a traditional "open" tabletop with proper terrain and measurements by tape measure not hexes. This produces an unusual mix of boardgame and miniatures wargame aesthetic, but one that I feel works quite well - since both myself and Phil S, my occasional OGRE Miniatures opponent, grew up playing the original Microgame in the clamshell box these seems to work for this game, looking more like a deluxe version of the boardgame than a wargame using "on the cheap counters". We are used to seeing the original minimalist graphic design of the old counters so this doesn't look wrong to our eyes. YMMV.

One tweak I did make is that the OGRE units didn't stand out and dominate the look of the armies as they should so I bought a sampler set of poker chips from a dealer on eBay and just stand the OGRE counters on top of them. This draws attention them, gives them a larger footprint from which to take measurements from and, because the poker chips are all unique colours, allows for colour coding of individual cyber-tanks.

Anyway, some (crappy) in-game cameraphone shots which are probably not worth clicking to zoom in...

Force Pink OGREs advance with HVY TANK support.

Left flank secured upon a BUA - Buildings by Games Workshop (nearly 20 years old) and Ral Partha with Flames of War craters.

 Overview of battle.

Two full-strength platoons of White infantry at the edge of a ruined city.

Since this game was played, I've bought a third smaller army (Force Green) from the incomplete Scrabble set which is intended as allies to bulk out one or other of the armies should it required. We've also plans to play out OGRE the boardgame on Battletech hex maps.

1 comment:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.