Friday, August 21, 2015

OMOG - a Great Toy Soldier Game!

OMOG is an acronym for "One man, One Gun"

OMOG is landing!

A few years ago, I was working on a platoon-level battle game using 54mm figures. I had tentatively called it OMOG, an acronym for One Man, One gun. The name illustrated that fact that in the game, each figure represented one individual. That game is still on a back burner, by the way.

Along the way, I had an intriguing thought. Years ago, we had "metagaming" mini games that were sold in a plastic envelope. Each had a set of rules, cardboard counters, small dice and a playing field. While several were intense, most could be played in well under an hour. In fact, a few would take a half hour, at most. My question was: what if we could have a genuine toy soldier game that could be played in a small area in a short time? How about a game that used things found in an office or kitchen or living room for the playing field? And what if the only things you had to bring from outside would be the rules, a bag of toy soldiers, dice and a small ruler?

A game like this would have to use a small space. The average kitchen table, coffee table and desktop is not all that big. Movement and resolving conflict would have to be simple, yet not simplistic. In other words, a system that is clear and plain, but not "dumbed down".

The ideal system for movement was part of a children’s toy soldier game from 1929. Shambattle: How to Play with Toy Soldiers used a 6 inch movement stick marked in four increments: Short, Half, Part and Full. It also had a simple way of addressing some of the game’s scenery. This provided the basis for movement.

Resolving conflict, be it hand to hand fighting, shooting or heavy weapons, was based on other systems. It had to be simple and easy to implement.

I had originally come up with a handful of variants of this new, streamlined OMOG. There was Basic for WW2 to Modern soldiers, 19C for the latter half of the 19th Century, Muskets for the era 1825 to 1850, and a Medieval variant. Playtesting failed when those who offered to do it altered the rules before testing them. All I got as feedback on their altered rules, not OMOG as it was written. I put the project on a back burner at that point.

After a couple of false starts, I began work on OMOG this year. A new idea emerged: how do the rules stack up against common sets of toy soldiers, such as Lido, Marx, MPC and Tim Mee? The Tim Mee M16 / Vietnam soldier set hit a nerve. It is one of the more complete sets with both riflemen and a good assortment of heavy infantry weapons. More important., it is one of the most available toy soldier sets out there. The M16 guys have been copied and cloned for decades. They have even been re-posed, yet retain the balance of rifles and heavy weapons. Victory Buy reissued the originals. Copies are found in various bagged sets and more recently, in clear plastic cans as opponents to Cavemen and Zombies. By using the Tim Mee M16 guys as a template, I was able to fill out the Basic game. The result is OMOG Advanced.

The other common types of toy soldiers these days are clones of Airfix British paratroopers, Matchbox GIs and Imperial "Desert Storm" soldiers. They will also work with OMOG. So will traditional sets by Lido, Marx, Tim Mee WW2, Herald, Ajax, and MPC, including "enemy" figures by Marx and MPC.

Keep in mind that OMOG Advanced is a Modern-era (1914 - present) small-unit infantry game. This is squad-level at best. There are no rules for field guns, tanks or other heavy non-infantry weapons.

Coming on the heels of OMOG Advanced will be OMOG 19C for the 19th Century, Omog Muskets for the 18th and early 19th Century, Omog Oldstyle for a "Little Wars" type game, and OMOK (One Man, One Knight) for Ancient and Medieval combat.

By the way, I am an Army veteran and some of my experience has helped these rules. If anything, it helped avoid any unrealistic elements.

You can download OMOG Advanced at these links:


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the great job done for us toy soldiers gamers :-) Will try the Rules instantly! How could I grab a copy of Shambattle Wild West & Knights variants? The classic one would be appreciated either! Thanks for doing this, Best from UKRAINE!