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Customs and the eternal question of why?

Posted September 2nd, 2010 at 02:48 PM by Chardar
Updated September 2nd, 2010 at 04:40 PM by Chardar
In my last blog I stated that the reason that any good customs creator makes customs is to play them. This isn't quite true, so it's time to expand on that statement.

First off I'll start with myself. There are two reasons why I make customs. The first is to play them, the second is to make a joke. I've only done the second on one occasion, and even then I made sure it was playable.

When I make a custom with the intention of playing it there are a few things to consider. Questions that can and should be answered before you dive into a card. What figure do I have? What do I want it to do? Can it do this without being overpowering or overcomplicated? Will it be fun to play? Will it make others want to play it? These questions are all equally important, and should be taken into consideration before making a custom.

First and foremost you'll need a figure. There's no point to a custom that's psyically impossible to play. You may enjoy making it on the computer, but you'll never play it. So you'll never get the full enjoyment out of your efforts. The figure doesn't have to be fancy. It could be a hundred dollar miniature that you bought in France. Or it could be a cardboard cutout that you made out of a cereal box. Personally I'd prefer the second. It's cheaper and involves more creativity and effort, so the custom is more likely to be rewarding. The point is that you shouldn't make a custom out of an image you found on google that you will never play.

The main part of customizing involves the units powers. In the early days of custom making units were made to fill in empty slots left in the game. Such as a cavalry or mounted units. Since then these have been made officially, and so there is less of a demand for them. This applies to all units. As the game gets larger and more official units are made, the demand for customs gets smaller. This deters some people from making customs. It shouldn't. There is no reason not to make customs, you just have to put a bit more effort into making something unique. You can take a marine sniper and give it 9 range and double attack, but then you just made Syvarris. Instead why not give that same marine sniper 10 range and a headshot ability? That way you just made a completely unique unit, which will also be more rewarding than a copy of an official unit.

One of my favorite customs that I made was the Bone Captain. This is my one custom that I feel meets the suggestions I made above. I put empasis on suggestions because it's still a custom. Not only that it's your custom, and no one can tell you how to make it.

This unit was created to fill a specific niche. It provides a cheeleader for the zombie army. Something I think it needed. It has a figure. Even though it's only a repainted Viking it's still playable, and is very popular around my table.

Of course there are other reasons why people make customs. This one turned out much longer than I thought. So I'll save them for another blog.

All of these suggestions are based off of mistakes and triumphs that I made while making customs. This is about my personal exprerience. I'm no expert, just another scaper hoping that someone will benifit from what I've learned.

Happy Customizing!
Total Comments 5


Kaiyu's Avatar
Or it could be a cardboard cutout that you made out of a cereal box... The point is that you shouldn't make a custom out of an image you found on google that you will never play.
What if I print out the google image, paste it to some cardboard and use that?

Instead why not give that same marine sniper 10 range a headshot ability?
And isn't this Deadeye Dan?
Posted September 2nd, 2010 at 04:26 PM by Kaiyu Kaiyu is offline
Chardar's Avatar
1. Of course that would work. I was just saying that you don't have to be picky. I've used cardboard-$7.00 being the most I've ever paid for a miniature.

2. Depends on what headshot does.
Posted September 2nd, 2010 at 04:42 PM by Chardar Chardar is offline
chas's Avatar
Here in NYC we keep going back on forth on using Customs in our games. One the one hand, we have one of the foremost Maker of Customs in our ranks. On the other hand, another guy doesn't trust any Customs to be well balenced enough to be put in a game. Right now, we usually only use them in preliminary afternoon games which are not the main evening Group Game. Also in seperate Superhero games. With the recent explosion of D&D Waves, of course we have lots of brand new Officials to play and discover these days. I'd agree with you that Customs generally appear in opposite proportion to the amount of New Official Product we see! And also if a particular type or faction is not supported with reinforcements.
Posted September 3rd, 2010 at 10:08 AM by chas chas is offline
Sylvano the Wasabus's Avatar
Custom making is the most exciting thing in my house. Although we invest Classic scape with personality too, the ones we make at home somehow contain a small part of ourselves... for a while anyway. Until we make the next one.
Posted September 3rd, 2010 at 05:02 PM by Sylvano the Wasabus Sylvano the Wasabus is offline
Ztimster's Avatar
My 6-year-old son loves penguins, so I made a pair of Giant Killer Penguins that he can play out of a pair of his small toy penguins. He loves them and picks them first every time. At height 6 they are pretty ominous.
Posted August 12th, 2011 at 03:26 AM by Ztimster Ztimster is offline
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