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Customs for People Who Don't Like Customs

Posted September 25th, 2008 at 05:01 PM by Just_a_Bill
Updated September 25th, 2008 at 06:03 PM by Just_a_Bill

So that's a pretty audacious title for an article, and not entirely accurate. But it's my mom's fault. One of the few childhood memories I have is of one of her old 33⅓ RPM records, titled Classical Music for People Who Don't Like Classical Music.
("Records" were antique CDs, boys and girls, back before we had MP3 players and before people wore their on the outside of their clothes.)
I don't especially like customs myself. Part of the reason is that, for me, they "corrupt" Heroscape by bringing in all kinds of things that don't seem to belong in Valhalla, such as G.I. Joes and pimps and yellow electric Japanese cockfighting pokémice. For things to have meaning and beauty, there have to be boundaries of some kind — if anything can be art, then nothing is art. Another reason is that there's just so much out there in customs land that's, well, crap. Low-quality source figures, sloppy modifications, garish painting, and horribly constructed army cards all lead to a cacophony of mediocrity that does a disservice to this wonderful, elegant game system.

However, there are also customs to be found, few and far between though they may be, that are works of art; the kind that make you say "man, how did he do that" or "wow; wish I'd thought of that". Here I am going to try to learn how to avoid the former and create the latter, or at least get as close as I can.

My customs will attempt to follow a few rules (or I guess I should say guidelines, since I may have to bend or break them from time to time):
  • Whenever possible they should be constructed primarily or entirely of GHP (genuine Hasbro plastic).
  • They should look like something Hasbro/WotC produced, or could have produced.
  • Custom figures should include matching army cards that are complete, look professional, and have balanced gameplay.
In short, I will consider these customs successful if people look at them and say, "you know, I don't really like customs, but that one there is kinda interesting". So here we go:
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