Q: How long have you been playing Heroscape, both Classic and C3G? How did you discover C3G?
A: I started playing Scape in Christmas of 2004. My wife gave me the game (I think she regrets that now
I noticed the C3G when the DC Master Set came out. It caught my eye and I knew I’d like to try it. My kids and I played the first scenarios with various Mage Knight figures filling in for most of the characters (an archer with a green cloak for Green Arrow, a thief in black for Black Canary, etc.). We loved it. Then I started to buy Heroclix, more and more (have hundreds now). My kids earn them by doing their chores, etc. They love it when they are able to get a new figure! (And I’m pretty happy, too!
Q: I see that you're an ERB member in both C3G and C3V. Are there any differences in the way you prepare ERB reports for each?
A: Night and day. Here in the C3G the ERB are (in my view) mostly “outside voices”—we give perspective on a unit or power from a deeply interested but a decidedly not “inside” view (i.e., I don't have Sanctum access). I think we do some good, but we have no vote or strongly placed role—we just try to help with thoughts, advice, etc., as and when needed, but in a bit of blind or distant way, as it were.
In the C3V, the ERB has a much more active role. The C3V is a large and purposefully slow and careful process—with lots of checks and balances, lots of votes, and a tendency toward inertia. The ERB helps to direct and guide the entire process, trying to help facilitate the very best from all the other departments and groups within the C3V. We are very much "inside" the project, in some cases perhaps the most inside of all.
Our biggest role is to ensure that units “fit”—that they match the current canon, feel like a natural part of Scape, use figures that (as far as we can manage) are highly available (or are/were at one point, in a few sad cases), and generally feel like valuable additions into Heroscape. We offer guidance, just like in the C3G, but are much more active throughout the process, have complete Sanctum access and voting powers, etc., making our role more central than in the C3G.
Q: You're also a judge in the Battlefields of Valhalla. What common map design mistakes do you see that cause maps to be turned down? Are there any design elements that don't exist in the existing BoV passed maps that you would like to see pass?
A: Designing maps is fun, but also hard, especially when part of the use of a map is supposed to be for balanced play in a double blind tournament. Probably one of the most common issues that bothers me are “his/her glyphs”—when a map is largely balanced (often, but not always symmetrical), but the glyphs are placed closer to one side than the other, making what the glyphs are far too important in game play, especially when the glyphs are played blind, as many do. It’s important to me that both glyphs be fairly evenly contestable by both players, no matter which side of the map they are sitting on.
I’d really like to see more maps with smart Treasure Glyph uses, a map that successfully pulls off a single BftU as the only Master set (not sure that can be done), and a map that is even more balanced than Broken Skyline in using the wall columns from the Fortress set, without being uncapped.
Q: You've indicated that you enjoy playing scenarios. What is your favorite in Classic, and what is your favorite in C3G? Do you ever play any scenarios more than once, or do you move to different scenarios?
A: I love the Castle of Aaryglynn (http://www.hasbro.com/games/kid-game...ess_Master.pdf
); it’s one of my favorites, among many others.
With the C3G’s scenarios, picking a favorite is even harder. I love Recruit the Batman and my next favorite is likely A World in Chaos. From the new set, Doom’s Deception and Cosmic Invasion are likely my favorites. (Still hoping to someday see Griff’s Mansion scenario for X-Men. That map just looks incredible and fun.)
Most scenarios we play through a couple of times, switching sides, trying different units and approaches. Often we’ll play one where we try to maximize a scenario, really push its limits with army choices, but also try one where we play very thematic (if not the most effective) armies.
With Aaryglynn we also redid the whole map with snow and glaciers for Christmas one year (just covered the whole map with a layer of Tundra pieces). We also tried some other variants on that one. (One of my favorite variants is making the castle defenders start at the ground level behind the castle and have to clamber up to their defensible position as the attackers storm in.)
I also love going back and trying an old scenario (like Mimring’s Tomb) but with all the current units available. Definitely makes drafting important and changes the dynamics of the scenario.
Q: How organized do you keep your Heroscape collection?
A: Well, it used to be quite organized. But it’s outgrown its home and my kids (also grown) now help me more with putting things away, so every unit isn’t in exactly the right place, as they once were. (Yes, it bugs me, but there is only so much time and space...)
It used to be that each general had their own drawer (in a Sterilite tower), with the flagbearer in the front right corner, units related to that figure lined up with military precision behind them (such as the knights directly behind Gilbert or orcs behind Ornak), each grouped by faction, squad, genre, type, etc. Now the flagbearer remain in the front right, but the figures have to overlap and get put within rough groupings, rather than exact regimented positions.
More broadly, I have all my terrain in original boxes (though I put two RttFFs in each of those boxes—they fit perfectly). All those boxes are stacked together by type on my shelves.
My figures are in two Sterilite towers (with added drawers stacked on top)—each general now has a drawer or two (or four, for Utgar--gruts and wolves, undead and robots, D&D, large/huge), the C3G is currently divided into four drawers: Marvel heroes, then villains, then DC heroes, then villians. The C3V are in with the other Valhalla units, by general, with their factions.
My cards all fit in one long CD box, separated by a colored divider and sorted by General (or, for the C3G, in four sections, just like my figures) or by type (glyphs, destructible objects, etc.), with a separate section for units I’m testing for the C3V or SoV and a final section for a handful of customs that I like, but aren’t Fanscape “official.”
My bits are all in a special compartmentalized Sterilite tray that I picked up (though I’m starting to spill over into a second one.) My maps/scenarios are all printed and grouped by their type into folders. I keep a Heroscape folder for taking to tourneys with some of the best of the best resources from Scapers in it.
Sadly, none of my collection is as stringently organized as it once was, but I know where everything is pretty quickly. I hope to give it all a spring cleaning once I have a few moments to spare for that.
Q: Who would you say has had the biggest impact in your own life?
A: Wow. That question wasn’t what I expected. (“One of these is not the same…”)
At this point, the only possible answer I can even think to give is my wife. I mean she bought me Heroscape in 2004—weren’t you reading?!
Seriously, a lot of people mean a lot to me and have done a lot for me, but she has stuck with me for almost 14 years now and those years have shaped me tremendously (in good ways!).
Q: If you could have a superpower in real life, what would it be?
A: Controlled total recall. I’d love to be able to remember (with just some focusing) everything I’ve ever read, seen, written, experienced, etc. Yeah, it isn’t sexy, but I would love that power.
Here it is: THE STUPID QUESTION! I'll ask a really stupid question, and you can answer it as seriously or as silly as you wish. Be very afraid! If you'd also like to prepare a C3G 3 Truths and a Lie, feel free to add it!
The Stupid Question: Name up to three famous people you think would make excellent zombies, and why.
A: Everyone would make a great zombie—no experience required! Sign-up now!
That said, my favorite would have to be Zombie Shakespeare (To GRRR or not to GRRRR!).
Q: Who is your choice for the next victim C3G Member of the Week?
A: Porkins—love to know more about my favorite X-wing pilot.