Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ground Effect Vehicle -- GEV

GEV was the second game in the Ogre microgame series. Short for "ground effect vehicle", those units were essentially armed and armored hovercraft, at a time when hovercraft were imagined to be the transportation of the future.

Don't hear much about hovercrafts these days. Main battle tanks still command top spot for ground-based military units, but in the 1980's it was neat to imagine wars of the future being fought by hovercraft and other unconventional units.

GEV takes up the baton from Ogre, venturing into territory every Ogre player wanted to explore: battles between the regular combine and paneuropean combat units. Ogre gave us the supertanks. GEV introduced some new units that Ogre players were clamouring for.

Units like the light tank. That unit was half as powerful as the heavy tank, but that meant you could purchase twice as many. The profile of the light tank was interesting, as it looked similar to the Ogre, what with its forward communications and sensor suite tower.

The mobile howitzer was a welcome addition, as the fixed howitzer always felt too vulnerable. As the defender, I was loathe to use the fixed howitzer in my regular Ogre games, despite the effectiveness of the four howitzer strategy.

GEV also gave us an additional infantry unit option -- the one strength unit infantry counter -- and gave all infantry units additional firepower in overrun situations. Prior to that, infantry was incredibly fragile. Infantry was one of the few units that used the old box-and-cross symbol, rather than giving us unit silhouettes.

As I recall, we had to wait for the Battlesuit microgame before infantry silhouettes were finally provided.


Anonymous said...

As I mentioned on the OGRE post-this was the first wargame I ever bought. With my own money too. From The Little Tin Soldier in Minneapolis, MN.

Played the snot out of it. And it survived every purge of my gaming stuff over the years. Only Ogre and the TFT/ITL stuff can make that claim as far as I can recall.

K-Slacker said...

I used to have an OGRE-themed webpage (in ye olde pre-blog dayes):

I've also got a number large-format prints of maps (San Francisco, Denver I think) from old games.

All this OGRE talk is making me want to pull them out of storage...

JB said...

I believe the Hammers Slammers tanks were also "hover tanks;" it wasn't just the OGRE guys who thought GEVs would be the armored vehicle of the future!
; )

Dominique said...

GEV was the game that got me into board games, way back in the day, and it was the first "real" board game I ever bought (I'd bought Risk, but I don't really count that as a board game). I still have my original zip locked bag version, yellowing pages and all tucked away.

For those of you who might not know, a new version is scheduled to be released this year. You can pre-order now. If you want all of details, swing over to the Steve Jackson Games website, as there are a bunch of threads, and updated information in the forums section.