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'Scaper of the Week #50 - Land-based AE

Posted November 12th, 2010 at 12:46 PM by rym
'Scaper of the Week # 50
Well, apparently, last time I jumped the gun and didn't quite give Land-based AE time to answer the interview before I pegged dok to be the next interviewee.

Turns out, as a newspaper editor, you are called on to work some crazy long hours covering election stuff. Who knew?

Anyway, as luck would have it, as soon as I posted dok's interview up, Land-based AE responded and I feel he still deserves his moment in the spotlight as well.

So here ya go. Read on to discover more about the guy who makes you think of the Airborne Elite each and every time you say his name (you know it's true), and see which Canadian brother of ours he picked next.

I present to you:

Land-based AE
-Scaper of the Week # 50!-

Who are you?

Chris Schafer

This picture wasn't my idea, but it was a good idea.

What is your username and avatar?

My username is based off the classic Seinfeld skit in which George and Jerry are talking in Jerry's living room and thinking of new jobs George can take.

George suggests being in the coast guard.

Jerry: "But you don't swim."

George: "Maybe I can be a land guy."

I tried to build my name based on this joke. To date, I don't think anyone has ever gotten it. And to be honest, looking at it now, it's really not that funny.

I don't have an avatar because I have the computer abilities of a 2-year-old. Well, heck, the kid probably beats me, maybe a dim-witted chimp.




I edit a community weekly newspaper. You get an amazing look at society when you hold a position like this. Life really is a lot more like a Seinfeld or Simpsons episode than you would expect.

Case in point, I had a woman call me the last week to complain about a error in a story from the June 10 issue.

June 10??


Utgar. The guy has half the deck, how can you not side with him.

The wife and I, visual proof that opposites do attract.
How did you first get into Heroscape and why?

Heroscape was really the perfect storm for me. I walked into Target that day lamenting the fact that I needed a more in-depth game and at the same time, I had nothing I really collected. (You see where this is going).

I don't know why I went into the toys section that day but Swarm of the Marro looked really cool. I passed it by. Then, the next time we went, I had to go back to the toys section and look at it again.

And then again.

And then again.

And finally I just bought it. Target had it on sale and I bought it for $20 because I balked at $40 for a game. Who knew that year's later I'd spend $40 just to acquire Laglor and $100 to purchase Space Hulk.

Like many others, I was also gravely mistaken in believing that Heroscape was a $40 (or in my case $20) game.

Now, I think my wife would probably punch Craig Van Ness in the stomach if she ever met him. Nothing personal to the guy, it's just she blames him for the "2 grand in little plastic men" in our basement.

What is your favorite aspect of Heroscape?

Common squads. Yeah, I said it. When I first realized that you had the choice to move one big guy or 3-4 little guys, wow, what a great mechanic that was.

As I explain it to people, I say, just think of chess. How much does the game of chess change if I tell you you can move one backrow piece or two pawns?

Who is your favorite hero and why?

Sonlen and Kee-Mo-Shi.

Well, as I stated above, I'm a squad guy. So my favorite heroes are the folks who allow you to do plenty in their turn. I love the fact that Sonlen can move, dragon heal, dragon swoop and attack all in the same turn. Same with Kee-Mo-Shi, I love that I can move, roll for toxic skin, roll for mindshackle and attack all in the same turn.

Sure, nether is overly competitive but it's my turn darn it and I like the pieces that give me options.

What is your favorite unique squad and why?

The Airborne Elite.

I love to field them in my tournament armies because they can be an answer to anything (provided you hit the drop, which I always do in the schemes in my head). Four attacks of four on height is great for heavy hitters and the grenade is great against cheap squaddies.

What is your favorite common squad and why?

I have a couple here. I love the dwarves because they are thematically perfect and the sculpts are great. But the Minions will always be my top. The best sculpts in the game for my money. They hit like a truck and have the defense to stick around through the poor order marker management decisions I am prone to.

What is your favorite special ability?

Deadly shot. Think about it, get an Omnicron sniper on height and it's the only time in this game that you're excited to roll two attack dice.

What do you think of Heroscape's newest general, Valkrill?

Well, I loved the look of his cards, they felt like decaying bone. But, given the fact that Scape is where it is now, the guy is only going to finish with a couple of units. To me he's really more of a gunnary sergeant than a general.

What game mechanic would you change, if any?

The obvious ones have been listed here many times. Yes, tough should work on special attacks, yes Taelord is too expensive. All are valid.

But the one rule I never play with at my house is the 24-hex start zone limit. I don't really see the point for it and it handcuffs great armies like the pure glad/blast and the Ashigaru. When I'm playing casually, that rule goes right out the window.

If you want to line up eight squads of drones and the hive, be my guest.

Tourney play or casual games?

Casual. Those who play me up here in Minnesota know that I like to throw all kinds of crap on the board. The templar calvary will see the table just as often at my house as the knights and the gorillanators hit the battlefield just as much as the microcorp.

I love the variety of this game and that some units stink. It's almost like playing golf, there's a natural way to handicap yourself if you need to.

Plus, I get bored playing the same army 5-6 times in a row as is the routine at most tournaments.

Matthias and I battling it out at the Tree Town Open.

Taking on the master of melee in a near mirror match. You can guess how that worked out for me. I'm 8-4 in two years at that tourney with three of my losses coming to the Nebraska contingent. Yep, that's right, I'm a flat tire in Omaha away from playing for the title.

What do you enjoy most about Heroscapers?

This site has been so many things to me. When I first started learning the game, I used the books heavily and read strategy articles.

Then, once I felt comfortable with my Heroscape abilities, I moved on to the other games threads where I'm constantly learning about new games that are fun and begging for my purchase.

There's a couple of guys on here who would be potential targets for my wife after Mr. Van Ness just for the new stuff that's entered our home because of their glowing recomendations.

I have also used this site to get me back into my own writing. A couple of years ago I was going through a major writing slump and I realized that I hadn't written anything for someone to read (besides news copy) in over a year. So I crafted a story in the fan forum called Cyprien's Desention. I wrote 4-5 episodes and closed it off. But having people read it and comment on it was great. It was just what I needed to get back into writing and finish my next book.

I'll never forget that.

Another scaper you'd like to play against.

In a casual game? Then I want all the big names from the coasts and the south. I've already played most of the big boys in the Midwest (and lost).

In a tourney? I want the guy who came along with a friend because he had nothing better to do or the person who thinks the wave 4 heroes make a great army by themselves.

Yeah, I said it.

Seriously though, if I had to pick one person, it would be Doctor Livingston. I think he's hilarious. Which probably says more about my intelligence than it does his wit.

I'd love to meet up with him with a tub of games and a couple cases of beer and just get after it.

What is another game you enjoy and why?

I was always tempted to say Heroscape was a gateway game for me (my wife says thanks Craig).

But that's not really true.

When I was little, I played a ton of chess with my dad. Then, in middle school I was into Magic for about six months. I bought the cards religously but had no one to play with and finally quit.

In high school my friends and I would play risk. Too be honest, I don't know how many games we ever finished. I just remember one game, sitting on my basement table that we played for an entire summer. My buddy had holed up all of his forces in Argentina and the final battle took over an hour. Our poor other friend, who was already eliminated, got stuck holding the dice tray for the entire thing.

But since I got into Heroscape, the other games have come and come quickly. I bought into At-43 and Confrontation (great games from a company even more screwy than WOTC).

From there I grabbed Space Hulk and started into Monsterpocalypse. You can really understand my wife's anxiety over gaming when my first five games where the financial sink holes I've listed above.

Since then I've moved into more pure board games like Last Night on Earth, Invasion from Outer Space and Claustrophobia. I am also really liking Fantasy Flight's Living card games. I own Warhammer Invasion and just picked up Call of Cthulu as my first place prize at the Scape tournament in St. Cloud last weekend.

The only common themes I've noticed in my gaming trends is that I like games with monsters and combat. I think the proper way to classify them is 'thematic' games.

And I've noticed that bits are very important to me. I don't care how many people tell me Puerto Rico is a great game. The little wood chips aren't doing it for me.

Three true things about yourself and one lie.

1. I've played football, hockey and lacrosse in my lifetime and I've never broken a bone or scored a point in any of these sports.

2. I have never won fewer than four games at a Heroscape tournament.

3. When I first started playing Scape, I thought every unit that was attacked by a ranged unit was then engaged with that unit and rules of engagement applied.

4. When I first started playing hockey, the only pair of skates I had was a pair of my mom's old figure skates.

What message do you have for the Heroscapers community.

The game will stay alive so long as there are people playing it. I still play the game because I have people to play with, and so long as they play, I will play. WOTC doesn't decide when Heroscape dies, you do.

Who do you pick to be the next Scaper of the Week?

Well, when I first started paying attention to this thread, I made a list of everyone I would pick if I was chosen and one by one they were chosen ahead of me because, well, they're more interesting than me.

But there's still one name on that list that has been overlooked for too long. A guy who's thread I have always felt was very entertaining and has been one of my favorite destinatinons on this site.


Total Comments 16


Nice interview, and grats to A_Train. It's about time he gets an interview.
Posted November 12th, 2010 at 01:11 PM by ABOMINATION ABOMINATION is offline
Sylvano the Wasabus's Avatar
Very nice- maybe someone could make him a really cool avatar?
Posted November 12th, 2010 at 03:00 PM by Sylvano the Wasabus Sylvano the Wasabus is offline
DrLivingston's Avatar
Great interview!

And best back handed compliment I've ever gotten!

The lie has to be the mother's skates. No way you go and play hockey in your mom's skates.

Looking forward to A-Train's interview.

(Off to go dig up a story in the fan fic section...)
Posted November 12th, 2010 at 06:12 PM by DrLivingston DrLivingston is offline
Shockma Ranyk's Avatar
Number one. I mean, really?! Great interview, and looking forward to next week!
Posted November 12th, 2010 at 06:48 PM by Shockma Ranyk Shockma Ranyk is offline
NilfheimPwns's Avatar
I'm with Livingston on the lie. My bros play hockey, they would get laughed at so hard. (Even though my oldest brother is almost eleven.)
Posted November 12th, 2010 at 06:50 PM by NilfheimPwns NilfheimPwns is offline
I say #2.
Posted November 12th, 2010 at 07:45 PM by Fen_Hydra Fen_Hydra is offline
Heroscape Elffy's Avatar
I'm going with Never walked away with less than 4 wins in a tourney. Just a hunch. (Not that I've ever been to a tournament with you or anything...)
Posted November 12th, 2010 at 08:38 PM by Heroscape Elffy Heroscape Elffy is offline
A_Train's Avatar
I gotta say, I've never gotten the Seinfeld reference from your user name, but always did get a kick out of it. It's one of the better ones on the site that actually required thought before joining.

Thanks for picking me as a Scaper of the week.
And I'll take #1 as the lie. There's no way a guy in figure skates couldn't have scored a point.

#2 is also possible, but dependant on how many games you played when you picked up your 3 loses in NE.

#3 sounds like a plausible newbie error.

#4 sounds very true to me. As much as a lot of people wouldn't want to play in mom's skates, 80s were the times of hand me downs (assuming you were first playing hockey as a child. And that as a child you had large feet, while your mother had small feet.).
Posted November 13th, 2010 at 08:04 AM by A_Train A_Train is offline
Kaiser Cat's Avatar
Question: Has anyone else every said your wife looks a bit like Hillary Clinton?
Posted November 13th, 2010 at 09:15 AM by Kaiser Cat Kaiser Cat is offline
Hilary Clinton? No. But I pity the poor person who says it to her. She's not a Clinton fan in any way.

To be honest, I always felt if she looks like any celebrity it's Rachel Ray. Not so much in this picture but in day to day, it's Rachel Ray. I think part of it is that she talks a little like RR as well.

It's been fun reading the comments so far and I'm glad to see my truths/lie were all believeable enough that I've seen a wide spectrum of choices picked. I think I'm suppossed to wait a week to post the answer.
Posted November 13th, 2010 at 10:38 AM by Land-based AE Land-based AE is offline
Freezie's Avatar
I'm guessing #3, although if 4 isn't the lie, I pity you... (yes, I play hockey too)
Posted November 13th, 2010 at 03:02 PM by Freezie Freezie is offline
The Deadliest Warrior's Avatar
# 2 is the lie. Most definitely.
Posted November 18th, 2010 at 06:13 PM by The Deadliest Warrior The Deadliest Warrior is offline
Conator's Avatar
Go Wisconsin!
Posted November 18th, 2010 at 10:22 PM by Conator Conator is offline
Revdyer's Avatar
You're right that Dr. Livingston is THE guy to play for a fun game, anytime, anywhere.
Posted November 21st, 2010 at 07:09 PM by Revdyer Revdyer is offline
We'll it's been over a week so I'll share the lie.

The lie is (thankfully) #4. I never had to play hockey in my mother's figure skates. In fact, I don't know if my mom can even skate.

#1 is true. The fact that I've never broken anything is amazing but the fact that I've never scored really isn't when you know that I played defense in lacrosse, offensive line in football and that I'm a hockey goalie.

#2 is true. I have never won fewer than four games in a tourney. I went:
- 4-1 at 2009 Gamer's reunion (5th place)
- 4-2 at 2009 Tree Town open (10th place)
- 4-2 at 2010 Tree Town open (7th place)
- 4-1 at 2010 Granite City Brawl (1st place)

#3 is also true. This was the only one I don't think anyone guessed may be the lie. We did play this way the first couple times. At the time all we had was the Swarm of the Marro and those Marro Stingers were awful tough casting a halo around themselves for five spaces. I can't imagine what we'd have done if we'd have had Deadeye Dan at the time. Trying to keep figures within 10 spaces of him would be tough to pay attention to.

So that's it. Thanks everyone, it's been fun.
Posted November 23rd, 2010 at 02:43 PM by Land-based AE Land-based AE is offline
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