Ogre/G.E.V. Compatible Maps
By Noah V. Doyle
The basic requirements are a scale of about 1 mile to the hex. That puts it pretty darn close to 1,500 meters, official Ogre/GEV scale. I've seen 1 and 2 km hex maps that work, though. So, here's the list. Unfortunately, almost all of these games are well out of print – see what you can find in the shops, and on eBay. Good luck!
Piercing The Reich, Moments in History
If you can get their replacement map, it's a lot better. Centered on Aachen, this features lots of defensive works, great for the new revetment rules. Not so great for the attackers, but that's what Ogres and Missiles are for.
Coup, Steve Jackson Games
This is a great little game, even without OGRE. :) The map is real simple – just city and outlying sections – with victory locations (Radio/TV, Armory, Capitol, etc.) scattered about. Small, but fun. Try this variant: you lose points for rubble-izing the city hexes, so you have to overrun.
Operation Mercury, GMT Games
A goodly portion of the island of Crete covers this map. Not a great road net, and the terrain demands elevation rules, but adapting the no-LOS rules from Ogre Minis should be a snap. The hexgrid doesn't extend very far out to sea, which is kind of a pain, but to make up for that, there are mountain passes just waiting to be fought through.
Silver Bayonet, GMT Games
"Ugh." Well, that's what I'd say, if I didnít love infantry so much. This map is almost completely forested, with a bare handful of roads and 'town' hexes, plus two rivers, and a hill. Makes me wonder how many infantry can ride on a Mk V, as it grinds through the trees. Or, if you're feeling evil, make the jungle/forest areas into swamp terrain.
Operation Shoestring, GMT Games
Elder brother to the Silver Bayonet map, this one is jungle, jungle, and more jungle – with a slightly clear beach, a shoreline road, and a few offshore islands. Ridges, too – you may need to port over those elevation rules from OM. Once again, the sea between the islands is not 'hexed', but careful work with a straightedge, pencils, and a technical pen works pretty darn well. There's room for the GEVs to play in the water, or Ogres to wander about, but the rest of the map is for the infantry.
Blood on the Snow/A Winter War, Avalanche Press
These two games are set in Finland, against the Soviets. Avalanche Press makes some great stuff, and their maps fit almost exactly, with 2 km/hex. Forest, broken up by a bunch of little lakes defines both of them, the occasional 'village' hex (+D1, desrtroyed by any attack?) and a light road net. Not quite as grueling as the jungle maps above, but worse in it's own chilly way.
Red Steel/Red Parachutes, Avalanche Press
More from the same, this time featuring the Rodina. The scale is 2 km/hex, with lots and lots of open steppes to play in. GEVs rule these maps, as expected. 'Steel' is on a long ridgeline near Kishinev with roads and rivers scattered around, as well as a few city hexes here and there – maneuver, maneuver, maneuver. 'Parachutes' is set on either side of the Dnepr, the site of the famous German river crossing, the Kanaev Bridgehead. It's got a big river (most games place them on hexsides, this one is a hex wide in some places), and only a few places to cross. The usual smattering of roads and cities typical of the steppes give this very clean and attractive map loads of possibilities.
Avalanche, Avalanche Press
And on to Italy, the soft underbelly of Paneurope. The area around Salerno bay, which is about half flatland and half rising hills/not -quite-mountains. Useful roads and 'highways' connect urban hexes here and there. Yet again, only a few hexes are printed for the water, but there's not much room on the map for them anyway. Armor will again dominate, because aside from LOS issues with the elevations, there's not much at all to slow them down, or to use as cover.
Air & Armor, West End Games
Central Germany is the focus here, covering Wurzburg, Schweinfurt and Bad Neustadt. My, those Germans have a lot of roads. You'll have no problem moving fast across this map. Lots of forest break things up terrain-wise, but I'm not sure about making the main river a stream; I'll have to check a better real-world map.
Tac Air, Avalon Hill
One of the prettier maps, itís again set in Central Germany. 'Historically', I don't think the Combine got this far, but it isnít like there arenít scads of historical precedent for other fighting in Germany. Hard-mounted, it features Bamberg, Coburg, Bayreuth and Klumbach. While again there's plenty of forest and a few river/streams to break things up, there's not nearly the road net depicted in Air & Armor.
Great Battles of the American Civil War
Stonewall Jackson's Way/Here Come the Rebels!/High Tide at Gettysburg/Stonewall in the Valley/Volume 5 Something different – beautiful maps, but they're a couple of hundred years out of date for the Ogreverse. Too bad, as they're just over a mile a hex. Well, play on them anyway, if you can – they're hard to get anymore.
The Speed of Heat, Clash of Arms
Yep, an airplane game. Good game, FYI, but the maps are quite OGRE-useful. Six of them, a little over letter-size, and geomorphic – the official scale is off (1/3 mile to the hex), but they look just fine with the big ol' river, big city, a few airfields, and a dam that cries out to be nuked into oblivion. Of course, then weíll need a special rule for the flooding downstream.
The biggie – these two standard size wargame maps are chock full of goodness. Did I mention it was a forest map, with plenty of roads (both primary and secondary), river/streams and not nearly enough bridges? I'd put weight limits on the secondary road bridges, myself. This one is worth the price of admission, easily.
Berlin '85, SPI
This one came in one of the old Strategy & Tactics magazines; I don't know if it ever made its way to independent release. One word should suffice, and that word is shudder. It's 90% city with a bunch of streams and a big river near the center. It's a very busy map, with the urban terrain, roads, streams, and game-stuff (POL, supply, barracks markings). But if you want a brutal slugfest, this is it. You'll learn why everyone hates fighting in a city. Don't say you weren't warned.
The 'Assault' System, GDW
Assault/Boots and Saddles/Bundeswehr/BAOR
What the 'First Battle' (below) evolved from, a great game in its own right. Maps are off scale, technically – 250 meters to the hex – but it's pretty irrelevant, as they're generic 'European' type areas. Works for more open country quite well, as most of modern Europe is very close terrain. Theyíre modular/geomorphic, with elevations.
The 'First Battle' System, GDW
Battlefield:Europe/Blood & Thunder/Sands of War/Others . . .
Once again, the scale is off (250m/hex), but the way they're made, the maps work great! Mostly geomorphic, and slightly larger than normal hexes, 'Sands of War' and it's expansion kit are special gems – something like twenty 11x17 maps between them of interesting desert terrain, including islands, cities, and stuff like that. Not just flat open sand, there's what turns out to be, in OGRE, to be a huge airstrip. I use it as a spaceport, which brings us to . . .
Marine 2002, Yaquinto Publications
If you can find it, it's a decent game on its own, but the maps are very useful. Geomorphic (lunamorphic? selenomorphic?), the three in the set fit together well, which is good, as they're just gray and craters. Even on their own, they're pretty neat. No GEVs, and things like HWZ and MHWZ might get no-LOS penalties firing at near-max range with the curvature of the moon. The fun really comes in when you start placing the crater tiles that comes with the game.