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Scaper of the Week 34 - GaryLASQ

Posted July 26th, 2009 at 09:12 PM by rym
Scaper of the Week 34 - GaryLASQ

Well, it's been a little over a week, but the latest Scaper of the Week is done. Last week, Aldin nominated GaryLASQ as this week's Scaper, and what a choice! Find out more about the man behind Gary's Heroscape Site, a veritable domain of knowledge for the serious 'Scaper. GaryLASQ is known as the "Spin Master". Read below to find out why. Enjoy!

Our 34th Scaper of the Week:


Who are you?
Gary Gordon, son of Florence and Gordon Gordon. He says it comes in handy when filling out forms that ask for last name first.

Who, or what, is your avatar and how did you come up with your username?
My avatar has always been a spinning battlefield. It started out as a 2D-graphic from LandScape (by Logrey) of my battlefield "The Growing Expaense" (which is very out-of-date, based on its intent) when I joined Heroscape.net in June of 2005. When SolidScape (by Parduz) came along and enhanced LandScape, I upgraded my avatar to a 3D-graphic of my battlefield "Brusymlund". My title "Spin Master" is not just because of my spinning avatar, but also because of the spinning "avatar" figures on my Heroscape web site. Admin/member funrun gave me the title. My username is based on my domain www.GLASQ.com, which is an acronym of the family -- Gary, Laura, Alexis, Spencer, Quentin -- therefore, GaryLASQ.

Age: 44 and counting.

Computer Programmer. Officially, I'm a "Senior Developer". I can almost understand the "senior" part of that, but I've always felt the word "developer" to be far too non-specific.

Allegiance and why?
Utgar. I like the themes like Gruts and Marros, and it's more fun to be evil.

When did you get into HeroScape and why?
While Christmas shopping in 2004, my wife was at Toys-R-Us looking for some gifts for our kids. She saw the bubble display of Heroscape and thought it might be a game our son Spencer would enjoy. Had she only known what affect it would have on her husband. Spencer does enjoy playing it of course, but for me the game is a time machine. It's the kind of game I wish had existed when I was Spencer's age.

Favorite aspect of HeroScape and why?
The three-dimensional terrain. There are a lot of reasons to like this game, but the terrain is what draws me into it. It's fun to design battlefields. The three-dimensional board makes figure movement interesting and adds a lot to the strategy.

When and why did you start your website?
I don't remember exactly when, and I would have to dig through some old backups to figure that out. It must have been almost four years ago and it looked quite different back then than it does now. I grabbed the domain glasq.com about nine years ago and have used it for a few different things that have come and gone. Heroscape seemed like something fun I could use to learn more about web technologies while making a personal Heroscape site.

Over the years, the site has gone from being built with Microsoft tools, like FrontPage, Access and ASP, to what it is now; which is XML-based in "human readable" text files. Besides things like HTML and CSS, I've learned a lot about useful XML stuff. The engine that generates the web site is XSLT which uses XPath to read the Heroscape XML data structures I designed and transforms the XML into (X)HTML web pages and SVG for the battlefield graphics. I haven't been able to spend as much time on it lately as I would like. But I will do my best to keep it alive and current (with the latest expansions) even if I eventually stop making improvements.

Favorite Hero and why?
Brunak. He's my favorite sculpt in the game. He follows Utgar. And Brunak laughs at the words "hot lava death". Spencer's favorite hero is Braxas.

Favorite Unique Squad and why?
Airborne Elite. Very unique special abilities. Anytime you try to create a scenario with an objective other than kill-em-all, you have to ask yourself how these guys might "break" that scenario and make adjustments to the special rules if necessary. And I like having that WWII presence in the game. Spencer's favorite unique squad is Ninjas of the Northern Wind.

Favorite Common Squad and why?
Minions. They made a great first impression. Flying, Deadly Strike and a strong defensive roll makes these guys a favorite pick of mine. Plus I love the sculpts and their Utgar allegiance. Spencer's favorite common squad is Marro Drones.

Favorite Special ability and why?
My favorite special ability that I use often is Frenzy. There's an adrenaline rush with getting 2, 3 or more additional turns because of a string of good D20 rolls. Spencer's favorite Special Ability is Disappearing Ninja / Vanish 9.

How did you come up with the Modular Map concept?
The idea originally came from Anon, who hasn't been seen since January 2006. After his initial proposal, other members and I tossed around some thoughts about the concept. During that exchange, it occurred to me how perfect it would be to use hexagons for the shape of the modules. To get an in-depth explanation of Modular Maps, read the article I wrote in issue #5 of the "HS Codex" online fan magazine. I feel there is still a lot of untapped potential in Modular Maps and I have a couple of ideas for making them even more useful.

Anything you'd change about the game - a unit, rule, or mechanic?
I don't care what Craig says, if my opponent thinks he can stealth-leap his Monk THROUGH my Braxas, he is sorely mistaken.

Marro Drones or Marro Dividers?
Not fair! I've only played the Dividers once. They worked out great, but still... Right now I'd say Drones, but ask me again in a few months and it very well could be Dividers.

What do you enjoy most about Heroscapers.com?
A primary reason why I'm still as into this game now as I was four years ago is because of this online community. Plus it's the place to be for networking with other Heroscape players in your own area; a place where I can post the next "Chicagoland Heroscaping" event.

Favorite HeroScape moment:
I'd have to say it was when my son Spencer and I went to our first GenCon in 2006 and (at age 10) he won a Win-a-Wave tournament using Braxas and two squads of Marrden Hounds.

Another board game you enjoy and why?
I'm a long time Risk fan. It just seems to be "the" game that has followed me around my entire life. Played it many many times in high school and college. I still get together every month or two and play a game of Risk with my friend Peter, brother Guy, and Spencer.

Three true things and one lie about yourself:
- I've been to all 48 states in the Continental U.S.
- The Mandrell Sisters (Barbara, Louise and Irlene) are my second cousins.
- I've read the entire Bible three times.
- My Heroscapers avatar used to spin in the opposite direction.

Other interests?
I write computer programs at work, but it's pretty mundane stuff usually. So the geek in me continues to play with programming languages outside of work, for fun stuff I want to do (not have to do), and at my own relaxed pace.

Any Heroscapers member you'd really like to play against?
Yes, plenty. But if I must pick one, I'll say Grungebob.

What message do you have for the community?
Don't Panic!

Who do you pick for the next 'Scaper of the Week?
Total Comments 15


Mr Migraine's Avatar
Great interview! It's nice to learn about the man behind a site I use often.
Posted July 26th, 2009 at 09:16 PM by Mr Migraine Mr Migraine is offline
Shades fan's Avatar
Awesome! I'd say it's the one about the Bible!
Posted July 26th, 2009 at 09:43 PM by Shades fan Shades fan is offline
Fuzzie Fuzz's Avatar
I'm guessing the 48 states one is the lie. (And you totally stole the message I was going to use. You know, when I get picked for SotW. Hey, it could happen! )
Posted July 26th, 2009 at 10:20 PM by Fuzzie Fuzz Fuzzie Fuzz is offline
Jexik's Avatar
Well-deserved Gary. The game days are always a good time, and your site is the 2nd best Heroscape resource out there.

(Below this one and... probably above the official one. *ducks*)

Hopefully I'll see you at
Posted July 27th, 2009 at 10:22 AM by Jexik Jexik is offline
Aldin's Avatar
Super interview, Gary. Thanks a ton for your site, I reference it constantly.

~Aldin, pretty sure you've always spun the same way
Posted July 27th, 2009 at 01:21 PM by Aldin Aldin is offline
NamibianScaper's Avatar
All that family talk and no pictures... what's up
Posted July 27th, 2009 at 08:54 PM by NamibianScaper NamibianScaper is offline
GaryLASQ's Avatar
Sorry I'm so long in responding. On vacation with the family so I have sporadic internet access.

NamibianScaper, I planned to include a picture or two. I answered the questions just prior to us hitting the road for our trip and didn't allow enough time to search for a good one.

So nobody picked the Mandrell Sisters? Guess it sounded too specific to be a lie. I've read the Bible cover-to-cover twice, not three times; so that's the lie.

There was a very specific reason why I started spinning my avatar in the opposite direction. Extra credit for someone who remembers why...
Posted July 28th, 2009 at 11:44 AM by GaryLASQ GaryLASQ is offline
I only joined recently, so I was never around for the modular maps thing, but I think it could use a revival. I went and downloaded the Codex #5 and read the article and the idea has so much potential. Imagine one of those gamedays where everyone brings a "MOP" as you called them and connects them. Me, and my freinds that have heroscape, should start doing that when they come over

Anyways, what happened to the idea? It just kind of fizzled out?
Posted July 28th, 2009 at 01:09 PM by Warlord Alpha Warlord Alpha is offline
GaryLASQ's Avatar
Hello Warlord Alpha.

It fizzled out somewhat. The rules on my web site are exactly that "my rules". Others can take those rules and modify them for themselves and their local group of players.

I still use them once in a while but I need to get back into it and build more MOPs and put them on my site.
Posted July 28th, 2009 at 04:49 PM by GaryLASQ GaryLASQ is offline
rym's Avatar
Warlord Alpha, Velenne ran a tournament last summer here in DFW for those of us unfortunate enough not to attend Gencon. (Or maybe that was the Marvel tournament. I don't remember, but I digress).

Anyway, it was our annual summer "Wacky" tournament and it featured MoPs. They are alot of fun to create and a lot of fun to play on. We implemented many, if not all, of GaryLASQ's rules and the tournament was a blast.

We ended up playing where you had to send one of the MoPs we were playing on down the table to the neighbor on our right so that the MoPs were constantly changing.

There is a thread in the events section somewhere detailing everything we did. It's probably buried pages deep as it was over a year ago.

And it was much, much fun.

Great concept, Gary.
Posted July 28th, 2009 at 08:53 PM by rym rym is offline
DrLivingston's Avatar

More MOP Fun

There have been many times that rym, Rodriquez, and I have thrown together MOPs and pushed them together to play 3 player games.

For fun, after every round, we roll 6 dice and a d20. Even on the d20 we spin the MOP clockwise, odd we spin counter-clockwise. The number of skulls is how many times we spin.

"Oh look your Krug is now next to my Krav. I hope I get initiative..."

Thanks for the interview, Gary, and thanks for the gift of MOPs!
Posted July 29th, 2009 at 01:00 AM by DrLivingston DrLivingston is offline
Rym, now you are really making me sad that it disappeared. Revival for Scape Day, anyone?

I know a lot of the Scape Day events are still in very early planning.

And DrLivingston, next time I have my friends over I was considering doing something where the start zone MOPs are static (so that your start zone isn't between enemy start zones or anything like that) but each non-start-MOP "slot" has a value and each MOP gets a roll of the D20, and whatever is rolled chose an available slot with the closest value and place the MOP in its new home. This could be done, say, every other round?

And now I think we need a new thread for this.
Posted July 29th, 2009 at 10:54 AM by Warlord Alpha Warlord Alpha is offline
NamibianScaper's Avatar
Hmmm.... lying about reading the Bible, yet having read it... does that say anything about your review?
Posted July 29th, 2009 at 05:42 PM by NamibianScaper NamibianScaper is offline
jdtenor's Avatar
Great, Go Gary! Go Gary! I've known Gary for a while and always look forward to his events. Thank you!
Posted July 29th, 2009 at 08:47 PM by jdtenor jdtenor is offline
Annerios's Avatar
It is great to read about the man that put together the most useful site for custom unit creation ever!
Posted July 30th, 2009 at 07:30 PM by Annerios Annerios is offline
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