Ogre Really Is an Ogre
Something came in the mail yesterday. Something strange and a little crazy and a whole lotta wonderful, and also over twenty-five pounds, set up against the screen door so I had to go around out the back and into the cold so I could retrieve it without knocking it off the porch.
I’d heard the stories, of course. Who with their finger on the pulse of the seedy underbelly of the world of board games hasn’t? Even so, I didn’t expect this. I didn’t expect Ogre to be such an… ogre.
There’s something to be said about the waiting we do in this hobby, the eager anticipation. The preorders, the endless hype mill. I recognize it’s juvenile, or at least some people would say it is, emotions bottled up like the unending wait for Christmas at eight years old. But I love it. I have a package coming from Poland, review copies of two new games from one of my favorite designers, and it’s been lost for over a month now. And although I’m mad as hell about it, about the ineptitude of a postal service that not only loses important packages but also messes up their tracking inquiry after hours-long waits to talk with a customer representative, I’m secretly a little happy about it too, just because that indescribable wait has been prolonged, and I get to feel that giddy childish thrill a few days longer.
Hopefully not too much longer though. It really is getting to be ridiculous.
So I didn’t unpack Ogre. Not right away. I waited for Somerset to get home, because like me she’d heard the rumors of this thing’s size, its heft. She’d seen the now-clichéd pictures of big dudes holding it, dwarfed behind its girth, peeking around its rusted edges with grin-wrinkled eyes. And while she shouldn’t be lifting things (she’s in the family way, I hear), she sat by it on the couch and reached over to lift the corner ever so slightly, and marveled along with me at the silliness of the whole thing, of an audacious Kickstarter project so out of hand that apparently the entire insane venture failed to turn any real profit, of a board game so immense it’s throwing out the backs of UPS deliverymen across the country. So we sat and laughed about how geeky we are, and took these pictures, and felt all the different feelings the wait puts into your blood before we let ourselves crack it open and dispel the magic ever so slightly.
Once you get past the outer layers, the first thing Ogre shouted was a warning. Over a thousand counters, city-sized cardboard tanks requiring extensive nerd-man assembly, and one of the best box inserts I’ve ever seen in my life:
I’ve heard some folks say it takes hours to assemble, far longer than Ogre actually takes to play. I have a friend who claims it took him a scant ninety minutes to get the whole thing punched out, assembled, and stored. I’ll find out who’s right and who’s bullshitting soon enough. Just another wait to enjoy enduring.
In the meantime, I can safely say that this is the only board game I’ve ever owned that came with a “Team Lift” safety warning.
I love our goofball hobby.