BYOO: Build Your Own Ogre®

BYOO (Build Your Own Ogre) is a set of tools and data for constructing custom Ogre units for use with Steve Jackson Games's Ogre line of games. (Note that the ® applies only to Ogre, not to Build Your Own Ogre.)

Ogre is a registered trademark of Steve Jackson Games. The materials presented here conform with the SJ Games online policy.

BYOO, hosted on this site since 2009, is currently (late 2018) under re-construction to replace its PHP-based implementation with something else (as of the 2018 relaunch, this site no longer uses PHP). The major components are, as of mid-November 2018, [back] in place, but there are several smaller features left to replace. Aside from the features available via the tabs at the top of this page, here are other BYOO-relevant links...

  • The database schema for sqlite3. It's not perfect, and contains a small bit of ancient cruft, but it works well enough.
  • The API docs for the HTTP API. They provide the information one would need for writing one's own BYOO front-end app (feel free to do so, and get in touch if you'd like to host the backend on your own server (requires a Unix-like system and the ability to compile C code and run CGI apps).
  • JSON data: (see the API docs, linked above, for details)
    • The list of gear. "Gear" is BYOO's term for any equipment an Ogre can outfit aside from its treads.
    • An Ogre. Its "gear" property maps gear IDs to how many of those items the Ogre is equipped with.
    • The configuration data currently contains only the information needed for linking to the Ogre icons/counters.
  • Source code:
  • First, use the +and -buttons in top/right of the small window-looking areas (like this one) to open and close those areas. This documentation calls those areas "widgets".
  • Select an Ogre in the list widget to view it in the editor and "static" record sheet widgets. Use the text field at the top of the list to filter Ogres with names matching part of the given text.
  • The record form widget doesn't do anything terribly interesting, it simply provides an overview of an Ogre.
  • Create a new Ogre by using the editor's Clone button. Edits are kept in memory until the page is reloaded, so it is possible to switch back and forth between Ogres (using the selection widget), as well as edit multiple Ogres.
  • The Apply button is not needed for editing - it simply tell the other widgets to update their view of the being-edited Ogre. Use the Auto-update checkbox to force the other widgets to update for every change made to the Ogre. The list and record widgets mark edited Ogres with a * in front of their name.
  • To discard all edits for a single Ogre, tap the Reload button to load a fresh copy of it from the server.
  • To save the Ogre on the server, use the Save button. Save as often as you like, but please use some discretion and avoid altering other peoples' Ogres. Note that SJG-official Ogres cannot be edited (but they can be cloned, and the clones may be edited). There is no mechanism for deleting Ogres, nor will one be added!
  • Ogre names and gear styled like this represent materials officially published by SJG. The rest are fan-contributed.
  • See the other tabs for more info.
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(Select an Ogre from the list.)

Ogre Gear List

Item ATT/RNG DEF Ciscos Notes
Main Batteries (MB) 4/3 4 24
Secondary Batteries (SB) 3/2 3 15
Missiles, External (Msl-E) 6/5 3 12
Missile Racks (Msl-Rack) 4 8 Each one destroyed also destroys one Msl-I.
Missiles, Internal (Msl-I) 6/5 6 Cannot be attacked separately.
Anti-Personnel Guns (AP) 1/1 1 2 Usable against Infantry and D0 targets only
Tow Gear (TowGear) 3 Use per the rules in the Ogre Reinforcements Pack
Tertiary Batteries (TB) 2/1 2 5
Long-Range AP Guns (LRAP) 1/2 1 3 Usable against Infantry and D0 targets only
Rocket Salvo, External (RktS-E) 3/4 2 5 Fired just as external missiles.
Rocket Salvo, Internal (RktS-I) 3/4 3 Fired just as internal missiles - requires a Rocket Salvo Rack
Rocket Salvo Rack (RktS-Rack) 3 5 Fires RktS-I's, each sold separately. Each one destroyed also destroys one RktS-I.
Medium Howitzer (MedHWZ) 6/6 5 65 Optional Rule: move _or_ fire.
Howitzer (HWZ) 6/8 4 100 Optional Rule: move _or_ fire.
Long Tom (LTOM) 4/12 4 120 Optional Rule: move _or_ fire.
Cruise Missile Launcher (CML) 6 60
Cruise Missile, Internal (CMI) 40 Optional Rule: move _or_ fire.
Engineering Arm (EA) 4 5
Infantry Bay (InfBay) 4 3 Holds three of any infantry, including Heavy Infantry or other large INF types. Inf destroyed if InfBay is destroyed. Use normal riding rules except that infantry cannot attack from the bay.
Cargo Bay (Cargo) 3 4 Holds up to four Size units of armor or four infantry squads. Destruction destroys cargo. Use normal riding rules except that infantry cannot attack from the bay.
Suicide Bomb (HariKari) 60 Cannot be attacked separately. Explodes as per chart at http://www.sjgames.com/ogre/articles/goliath.html.

Ciscos and Victory Points (VP)

This toolset uses "Ciscos" as a victory point value, rather than SJG point values. There is no official SJG algorithm for assigning point values to Ogres - the official VP values were assigned based on hundreds of playtest sessions. The Cisco method, named after its creator, Francisco "Cisco" J. Cestero, is a very simple algorithm for determining approximate Ogre point values. It produces results close to the published VP values for official SJG Ogre models, and does so with much less complexity than the Henry Cobb algorithm.

The algorithm for calculating the Cisco value of an Ogre is:

( (2 * Treads) + (Total Ciscos of all Gear) )
 * 5.357
 / (10 - (Ogre's MP))

The Cisco value of "gear" (weapons and accessories) is listed in the Gear table of the database, and were apparently derived from old calculations by Cisco himself. In any case, they differ from SJG VP.

To convert Ciscos to Armor Unit Equivalents, simply divide the Ciscos by 10. To convert Ciscos to SJG VPs, multiply the Ciscos value by 0.6.

Using this algorithm, we get values pretty close to those published by SJG. For example:

Model     SJG VP(*)    Cisco VP(**)
Mark I    25           28
Mark II   50           57
Mark III  100          98
Mark IIIb 120          123
Fencer    125(***)     132
Fencer-B  150(***)     140
Mark IV   150          162
Mark V    150          162

(*) = Source: Ogre Miniatures (first edition) Rulebook
(**) = Source: the above algorithm applied to data from our DB.
(***) = The "Ogre Minitatures Update" revised the Fencer from 140
        to 125 VP and presents the Fencer-B with 150VP.

The Cobb algorithm gets closer to the SJ-published values, but (A) it's much more complicated and (B) the published values are based off of hundreds of playtest hours, not an algorithm. The Cobb calculator is available online and some older version of the algorithm is available in The Ogre Book, published by SJG (and available as a PDF from their online shop). The article has the advantage of explaining the algorithm, whereas the web page simply hosts the calculator app without explaining how it calculates. Despite its complexity, the Cobb forumula has one notable advantage over Ciscos: it can be applied to non-Ogre units, whereas the Cisco method cannot.