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Scaper of the Month - March 2020

Posted March 15th, 2020 at 10:47 AM by HS Codex

íScaper of the Month
Astroking112
Author: quozl

Come meet our current íScaper of the Month, Astroking112, Soldiers of Valhalla judge and more!

PROFILE

Who are you really?
Bradley Wersterfer.

How old are you?
I just turned 22 about a month ago.

What is your occupation?
Iím a computer science student at the University of Texas at Dallas.

Whatís the story behind your username?
Hmm. I think that it probably dates to a free McDonalds MMO that I played after school back in the 3rd grade (my mother was a librarian at my elementary school, so I would often be stuck using school-approved websites for entertainment). I canít really remember the game that well, but my character was probably some sort of an astronaut. I quickly moved on to a different space-themed game called MechQuest, where I reused the name ďAstro KingĒ and it pretty much stuck.

As for the 112, thereís a funny coincidence in that itís the first part of my anniversary with my girlfriend. We didnít meet until well after I got used to using the moniker, of course, but itís humorous that it ended up that way.

What are other games you enjoy and why?
In terms of board games, I generally enjoy either accessible strategy games or heavy group-interaction ones. My favorite games generally give players plenty of agency and interesting decisions to make, without requiring them to reread the rulebook before playing. For example, I find the Bloodborne card game to straddle the line between depth and simplicity well. On the other hand, I really like all of the trickery and bluffing that goes into games like Secret Hitler, and Iím known to do the most unexpected things to ensure that the game is always fresh.

As for videogames, most of my favorites are the single-player games that present an engaging and unique world with memorable characters. Stuff like Ratchet and Clank, Sly Cooper, and Bloodborne are generally right up my alley.

What other interests do you have?
Beyond gaming, Iím a pretty big fan of fencing (the sport, not the domestic renovation). I only started when I came to college about two years ago, but itís a fantastic sport and the tournaments are great fun whenever I can afford them. Itís also ironically the least violent sport that Iíve played: despite it being dedicated to stabbing each other, Iíve sustained fewer injuries there than I have in cross country.

I was also once a pretty avid reader, given that I practically grew up in a library. Unfortunately, Iíve had less time than I would like to read books since entering college. Itís still a nice pastime, though, even if I have been stuck halfway through The Lord of the Rings for what feels like a year.

HEROSCAPE

When and how did you get into Heroscape?
Way back when I was too young to care about what year it was, my aunt got me a Rise of the Valkyrie master set for Christmas. It instantly captured my attention, and I eagerly waited for several hours as my dad struggled to read the rules and set up the map for a game. My brother and I then played the basic game, I rolled dice poorly, and I promptly decided that the game sucked and shelved it for several years.

Right around the time that HeroScape was getting cancelled, I found my box and decided to give it another go. This time, I played the master game and had a blast. I quickly went online to try and find those expansion packs pictured in the rulebooks, only then realizing my major mistake. Iíve been slowly collecting and playing ever since.

SoV: what got you started?
I ended up taking about a five-year hiatus from Heroscapers after first making my account, only coming back when I moved in with a roommate who also had the game. I never followed C3V/SoV before, but we ended up perusing the catalogue for a bit one night after bemoaning how expensive everything was. I stumbled upon Tomoe Gozen, realized that she gave me an excuse to play the samurai more, and promptly added her to my collection.

From that point, I gradually became more involved in discussion on the boards. I tried to give feedback on customs wherever I could, including the ďPre-SoV Workshop Thread,Ē and after a year and some change one of the SoV Judge positions opened. I decided to apply, and All Your Pie and I were both selected for joining the team.

Favorite unit (official/custom):
Iím torn between Kaemon Awa and Zelrig. On one hand, Kaemon Awa is instantly possessed by a legendary force any time that he hits the table (Iíve seen him singlehandedly win no less than three games for me by killing every single opposing figure on his own), but on the other, Zelrig really nails the intimidation factor and sense of royalty that embody Einar. Depending on the day, Iíd probably say that Kaemon Awa narrowly takes the cake, but Zelrig is my spirit animal.

Describe your favorite HeroScape moment.
Back when Leo Ultra and I were learning how to play the game properly after my hiatus, we decided to do a 700-point game of elves vs. samurai on a huge battlefield. I was slowly advancing my units with Kato far away in a tower when Chardris took a potshot at my army and inflicted a wound. I then claimed the movement glyph and proceeded to chase every single elf around the huge map with Kaemon Awa, engaging them and using Quick Draw to slaughter his entire army. At the end of the game, that single wound was the only one that my army sustained.

That wasnít the first nor the last time that I saw Kaemon Awa just go berserk and seize the day, but thereís something special about watching a figure from your favorite faction suddenly kill 700 points without breaking a sweat.

Is there anything you would change about the game (unit, rule, mechanic, etc.)?
Nothing about the core ruleset really bothers me. It would be useful to define some concept of a ďplayer turnĒ for customs, but itís possible to avoid that with some clever order marker usage.

The only changes that I would make are to specific units, such as the usual ďnerf Raelin.Ē Because I like the samurai so much, my biggest wish is probably that Kato Katsuro could work with the samurai by being able to take more than one turn with them through his command, but thereís several units that Iíd like to see tweaks for.

What is your favorite aspect of HeroScape?
The sheer creativity of it. Before I was that active online, I took a lot of pleasure in lurking about Heroscapers and seeing the comics, maps, and scenarios that people posted. HeroScape did a fantastic job at capturing imaginative potential, from the process of making maps to building armies out of whatever hodgepodge units you have access to. Iíve played many other games, but none really have the same endless variety and potential in such an accessible format.

COMMUNITY

Favorite experience as part of SoV:
Iím still somewhat new to SoV, but my favorite part of the experience so far is the testing. Itís time-consuming, but the opportunity to test out new units and play with a large variety of factions is very rewarding. All of the submissions are of a very high quality, and itís interesting to play with someone elseís creation and see how it fits into the game as a whole.

Other groups: what got you started?
The basics of a ďcustom master setĒ had been kicking around in my head for a long time after I started getting into C3V and SoV. The Arena of the Planeswalkers sets posed a great opportunity for expanding the community and making the game more accessible to new players, and packaging it all under one roof felt like the best route to go. Around April of last year, a group of us on Pumpkin_Kingís Discord server were talking about the concept some more, and I decided to try and kickstart the effort.

I made a super long post about the reasoning behind creating a new master set, which you can read here if youíre so inclined. Long story short, we decided to turn the project into an open community-driven effort, letting new people get involved in the process and making the entire project more feasible. Thatís how the ďArena of the ValkyrieĒ project started, and all of us who were in the Discord server ended up becoming the project leads.

Because AotV is community-driven, weíre more than happy to welcome more volunteers into it! If youíre so inclined, you should take a look at what weíve done and see if thereís something that you want to playtest or help design.

Can you tell us how youíve gotten to where you are now in the community?
I just spent a lot of time replying to threads and giving feedback once I came back online. I enjoyed being active in a lot of different areas on the site, which led to a greater involvement in the community.

What do you enjoy most about Heroscapers.com?
The community-made creations. Beyond my experiences in AotV, the Books Index was the main way that I learned about units in the official game, so Iíll always feel that it is a fantastic resource. Furthermore, thereís tons of unique scenarios, dungeon crawls, custom units, and more stored here. I could easily lose hours just reading through the pages of content on this site.

Is there any member of Heroscapers.com youíd really like to play against?
Iím probably not much of a challenge compared to the best players here, but Iíd like to go against either truth or Craig Van Ness. They were both really nice when I met them, and being able to talk with some of the designers behind the game is always a pleasure.

LIE DETECTOR
Three Truths And A Lie
  1. I was forced to direct and act in a German play that got 2nd place in all of Texas.
  2. I was kicked out of a school in New Mexico.
  3. I have flown an airplane before.
  4. I was the king during a Renaissance faire. During my brief reign, I was assassinated twice for being a tyrant.

Last Monthís Lie (All Your Pie)

1. Iíve been to Illinois, Louisiana, and Missouri, but have never flown in a plane.
2. I only just learned how to ride a bike last month. Better late than never!
3. I placed second in the first and only speedrun racing tournament for the video game Downwell.
4. One of my dogs is a rescue, and I have no idea what breed he is.

THREE FUN FAVORITES

Favorite Movie Genre and Movie
Itís hard for me to pick a favorite genre of anything because I generally like to watch something new every time. On average, I suppose that I enjoy comedy movies the most, though.

As for my favorite movie, I think that Blade Runner: 2049 takes the cake. Seeing it in theaters was a fantastic experience, and it still stands out as one of the most visually compelling and meaningful stories that Iíve seen.

Favorite Book Genre and Book
Much like movies, itís hard to pin down a favorite genre of book for me. I typically like meaty books that really make you think; for example, A Brave New World, Ubik, and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? are some of my favorites. Those all fall into a dystopian category, but Iím reluctant to use that classification because plenty of other dystopian stories really disappointed me (1984 among them).

My singular favorite book, though, is John Gardnerís Grendel. I enjoyed Beowulf well enough as a typical epic poem, but Grendel was such an unexpected take on his first monster that it really stood out to me. Throw in a healthy dose of insanity and nonlinear storytelling and you have my absolute favorite experience in the medium (at one point, the book suddenly jumps into a play format to ďset the stageĒ instead of the usual first-person perspective to truly make you feel as lost as Grendel is). Itís a fantastic piece of writing.

Favorite Song Genre and Song
Unlike books and movies, Iím generally quite a bit pickier about songs. My favorite genre is undoubtedly World War I propaganda songs (Iím a bit of a weird one); theyíre just so optimistic and catchy. Very few genres can lift the spirits as well as those songs can, in my opinion.

My favorite song changes depending on my mood. ďItís a Long Way to Tipperary,Ē ďWake Up, Get Up,Ē ďGet Out There,Ē and ďBrandy (Youíre a Fine Girl)Ē are all generally up there, though.

CLOSING

Can you tell us about Platyfly?
Iíve always been weird and loud, and making people laugh is one of my favorite things to do. Rather than channel these urges into theater like a normal kid, in the 8th grade I decided to start a YouTube channel dedicated to strange and bizarre skits. Think BalloonShop or a more family-friendly Kids in the Hall. Several of my close friends joined, and over about four years we made nearly 100 videos dedicated to my peculiar sense of humor.

The name Platyfly! is a pun on the supposed purpose of our channel. We often act as fictitious versions of ourselves that are dedicated to making the platypus fly like it was always meant to. That alone should give you a clue on how ... strange we could get at times. Weíve had people eaten by sandwiches, feet turn into dolphins, and random horror episodes when no one expects it.

Still confused? I donít blame you. Platyfly! is basically a direct channel into my friend groupís unfiltered weirdness, and if I go back and watch our old videos, even Iím often surprised by the silly things that we did.

What message do you have for the íScaper community?
At the risk of being predictable, I just want to tell everyone to keep at it. This community is fantastic, and the more engaged that we are, the more that others will stick around. íScape isnít dead, and weíve given it an entirely new life altogether at this point. Letís keep it going for as long as people are interested.

Whom do you pick for the next íScaper of the Month?
Iíll continue the AotV baton pass and lend it off to fellow project lead NecroBlade.
Total Comments 2

Comments

Old
Dad_Scaper's Avatar
Awesome! I think the lie is king at the Renaissance Fair, because I think he was assassinated *three* times in an hour. Excellent as always!
Posted March 15th, 2020 at 03:30 PM by Dad_Scaper Dad_Scaper is offline
Old
flameslayer93's Avatar
I don’t think you’ve been to New Mexico, so that’s my guess.
Posted March 17th, 2020 at 04:10 AM by flameslayer93 flameslayer93 is online now
 
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