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Allopatric Speciation, or is My Heroscape Your Heroscape?

Posted January 23rd, 2010 at 02:21 PM by Sylvano the Wasabus
Updated January 23rd, 2010 at 04:43 PM by Sylvano the Wasabus
Allopatric Speciation
Or is my Heroscape your Heroscape?

“Allopatric speciation is the phenomenon whereby populations are physically isolated by an extrinsic barrier and evolve dissimilarly due to the isolation- becoming two separate but related species.”

I am a single father with four kids, two jobs and a cat that throws up on everything. You might not think that we are scapers, but we are.

My son received SOTM one year for Christmas- after Santa had been looking at it in a TRU store for over a year. Money’s always tight, so Santa tries to be careful. The boys were small, 5 and 8, and games had to be simple and quick. We began to play Scape, the basic game.

Then we found a beat up ROTV on clearance at a big store. The boys loved all of the new figures, especially the Tarn. Quickly the basic game was not enough and we began to incorporate elements of the Advanced game while still keeping much of the basic game. OM’s never really caught on. Heroes have two lives, squads one. We use stats from the front with specials from the back. Q-10 was terrifying, and the Tarn, though well intentioned, were found lacking. We did not know where to get more Scape, or even if there was more Scape. No TV, no internet, but every night was a family game night.

The evolution began. Customs and house rules were born, play tested and evolved. We made our own cards and coloured them by hand.

We found a pack of Shades and Orcs! The excitement spurred us to create all sorts of new things. Bleakwoode, our first forest, was born. Thirteen homemade blackened dead trees that gave area bonuses to the undead and penalized the living with fear driven attack and defense penalties. But it wasn’t enough. The boys wanted climbable trees that were also destructible objects. The Gorn forest began to grow, fifty green trees that could be climbed and not only gave height bonuses but specials like Leafy Camouflage and the dreaded Drop Attack.

The forest was becoming a death trap, even with road hexes. Troops needed to move through faster and so we summoned horses to Valhalla. We made herds of homemade wooden horses, both squads and hero stallions, all with different specials.

Then, inspired by The Two Towers film, Isengarde Wolves- nasty hyenas that carried and attacked and smelled bad too. The latest in the vein is our first Mumak, the war elephant that carries troops and trample stomps. And from the Harry Potter books- Grims- huge black dogs that can carry small and medium figures and get shadow bonuses (long before MS3).

With the addition of long ranged catapults castles walls became destructible objects.

I read about Lexan mats and so we bristoboarded a sea and are just getting into boats and water battles.

Unable to find a lava set we made foam pieces the size of glyphs and made our own lava world. And because the foam is moveable, we soon had volcanoes that could erupt by whim of the 20d, rivers that could flood and now inspired by MS3 shadow tiles all over the place.

All of our customs were leading us somewhere- to the big game. A huge wall map, 240 grid squares, with three capitols and fourteen wells is now taped up in our play room. The capitols generate 50 points per turn and the wells 10 points per turn. The map is dotted with mountains and lakes. Thirty points builds a road through a normal square and ten points builds one cylinder of castle. Armies are represented by different coloured push pins and when armies meet it is played out on our now permanent standing hexes. Defensive structures are aided as required by scenario. 6d shakes by attacker and defender add randomized terrain- trees, bushes, water, snow, ice, lava, shadow, swamp, elevation.

Our map creation time has been reduced to about ten minutes per battle. And the battles are amazing- battles that you probably would never play- unbalanced battles of 60 defending points against a medium size 360 point invading army. Retreating to save points is allowed, as is taking hostages, prisoner trading, bribery, pay offs and extortion.

I recently won (ending with my twelve year old in tears) a 20 point defense against his 120 point attack. The Marro warriors literally couldn’t clone to save their lives.

This big game has taken over our lives- we talk about it in the car, we’re always adding something. In the middle of the night my son will wake me up to tell me a new special that he just thought of.

We play many battles but it is all part of a large on-going war detailed on the wall map. This is our scape, right now. I bet it’s different than your scape, but we can live in peace, right? If not, I dare you to invade….

I apologize for this too long premiere blog. I know the blogs are not that widely read (except by me).
I have lurked on this site for two years, ever since my one job got internet access.
Thank you scapers, for this amazing site. I have learned so much and enjoyed so much reading your battle reports, fiction, news and seeing your maps and customs.
I like too finding out a little about the real people behind the avatars.
And special thanks to Onacara, (he had a “I want to be a Site Supporter contest” and picked me and my sons!) Thank you Onacara. Happy Scaping!
Total Comments 20


chas's Avatar
But do you like it? Seriously, great stuff. Keep On Scapin'!
Posted January 23rd, 2010 at 02:42 PM by chas chas is offline
Xn F M's Avatar
Hey Sylvano, do you think you could break that up into a couple smaller paragraphs? As it is this is very difficult to read.
Posted January 23rd, 2010 at 03:26 PM by Xn F M Xn F M is offline
tom's Avatar
I would love to see some pics of the custom terrain as well as the giant wall map. Great stuff.
Posted January 23rd, 2010 at 04:31 PM by tom tom is offline
NecroBlade's Avatar
Thanks for the read! Glad you could become a site supporter.

I created a similar Epic Heroscape Variant for my gaming group in Florida: http://www.heroscapers.com/community...ad.php?t=21893
Posted January 23rd, 2010 at 05:23 PM by NecroBlade NecroBlade is offline
Xn F M's Avatar
That sounds awesome Sylvano. I'd also love to see some pics (if you can).

And thanks for breaking that up a bit, it's much easier to read now.
Posted January 23rd, 2010 at 05:33 PM by Xn F M Xn F M is offline
Had I known you had this kind of blog in you I would have made you a Site Supporter sooner. :wink:
Posted January 23rd, 2010 at 07:08 PM by Onacara Onacara is offline
stubobj's Avatar
Awesome choice for Site Supporter Onacara. And Sylvano if this is the type of stuff I can expect from you then Im eager to see what else you have up your sleeves. Also as others have mentioned PICS PLEASE!
Posted January 23rd, 2010 at 08:11 PM by stubobj stubobj is offline
Sounds like an awesome game! I like that idea of collecting build points to build up your army or road.

Hope you managed to get some of those $7.50 castle sets before Toys R Us got rid of them all.
Posted January 23rd, 2010 at 08:57 PM by elyk elyk is offline
BassistofDoom's Avatar
That sounds awesome! I'm glad you and your family have been able to incorporate your own creativity into a great game like heroscape. Personally I have some Warhammer 40K stuff that I am trying to make custom heroscape things out of.
Posted February 6th, 2010 at 04:28 PM by BassistofDoom BassistofDoom is offline
Taeblewalker's Avatar
I am very impressed by your customs ideas, especially how your capitols grow points. It's a great way of generation reinforcements. Great blog, and great way to play the game!
Also, being a science teacher, I really like how you included allopatric speciation.
Posted February 6th, 2010 at 07:30 PM by Taeblewalker Taeblewalker is offline
Harlax's Avatar
Interesting topic. Several times I have gone to Gen Con and played a game that I had previously played only with a group of friends.

Most times I discovered a whole new game. Infrequently because we had misunderstood a a key rule, but more often because I encountered new strategies and tactics that had not occured to us.

So if you only play among family or a small group of friends, you may well be playing a whole different game. But if you are enjoying the game and spending good time with your kids, its all good.
Posted February 6th, 2010 at 08:51 PM by Harlax Harlax is offline
soberman's Avatar
Way to make a big splash, my man!
Posted February 7th, 2010 at 05:09 PM by soberman soberman is offline
1Mmirg's Avatar
Nice post, Sylvano. When I read your title I thought about how different Scape is for me when I visit my nephews (huge armies, extra rules and variants, lots of unknown glyphs all over the board, etc.) and when I play at home with my son (quick 300 pt. games on a small map) or with my family (2v2 with one or two variant rules) or at the game shop (what I'd call "Heroscapers.com Scape), etc.

I often call this game one game than contains a thousand games. So, like I said, I thought I knew what I'd see in your blog.

And I was wrong.

Great post, awesome variants and cool ideas. You've definitely reinforced my "one game that contains a thousand," but you've also shown me that my thousand has been grossly limited. Way to push the game and make it your own. Sounds like an absolute blast!
Posted February 8th, 2010 at 09:53 AM by 1Mmirg 1Mmirg is offline
Spartacus Maximus's Avatar
Wow thats how me and my friends play. Frontside stats backside abilities. I love reading your blogs. Keep them up.
Posted February 8th, 2010 at 06:10 PM by Spartacus Maximus Spartacus Maximus is offline
mrkurtb's Avatar
Fantastic blog. Love the creativity. Oh, gotta go, your blog just gave me an idea.
Posted February 9th, 2010 at 12:15 PM by mrkurtb mrkurtb is offline
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