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First Picks: Always the same?

Posted October 15th, 2008 at 05:10 PM by Nadi
Updated October 15th, 2008 at 05:15 PM by Nadi
It's the magical moment when you sit down and start what could be either a long (or short) round of HeroScape. The markers have been dealt out, the dice divided, the army cards stacked and neatly in each group next to you. And then you hear it: the sound of the d20 being rolled by the first person in the draft. The first draft pick always seems to be such a crucial moment in our games. Granted, the SHS crew isn't as 'hardcore' as most other Scapers that you would meet on here. Still, we love the game for what it is: an absolutely fun and addictive game. Most of our games are on larger maps (we love the long drawn out battles), but from time to time, we manage to sneak a small on in there.

So, the d20s are rolled and it comes down to you having the first draft pick. Who do you pick, if you are given the first pick of all units? Is it different each time? Or, do you have a unit that you must absolutely have on your first pick, no matter what?

For myself, it comes down one thing:

The map. Most of our maps that we play on are SHS map layouts. With that, comes a lot of room to move around and the possibility to hide with a good number of LoS blockers thrown into the mix. If these two conditions aren't met, then my first pick could really be anyone at that point. But, if the map is the norm, then it's on to drafting my first pick:


Ever since my first HeroScape game (where Turo beat me in the end with a mind-shackle. I'll never let you live that down, man... ) I've always been just... obsessed with using Syvarris as my first round draft pick. It never fails, unless I'm just completely cramped on the map, he's going to be the unit that I go for. There's such a running joke with the SHS crew that they often try to draft him first, not because they want him... but they get a kick out of taking him away from me.

Still, I find Syvarris to be a character that I can rely on time after time again. It's not just the fact that he has such a high range, or the double attack, but for just a meer 100 points, I find him to be a very effective character in terms of what he has to offer. But I guess I see a lot of others use Syvarris and he normally gets destroyed right off the bat and I think I contribute that to one simple thing: I see him way more effective as a defensive unit, rather than an offensive unit.

Most of the time when I play HeroScape, I usually tell my teammates one thing: "Wait till you are in range before you fire." Now, not all units can benefit from this approach, but I find a good number of them seem to work best when you allow you enemies to come in with guns blazing and then on your next turn, take the high ground (if you can) and then return the favor. And this is where I love to use Syvarris so much. His range keeps him at a safe distance while most units are fighting around (or trying to charge in), but if you manage to get to the higher ground, you return fire at not just 3 attack dice, but 4.... TWICE. Keeping out of reach most of the time and allow you to keep shooting over and over and over again.

For 100 points, I just can't justify drafting anyone else on my first pick. I'm sure there are PLENTY Scapers out there that would say that I'm insane, or argue why anyone OTHER than Syvarris would be a better first draft pick. But for my record book, Syvarris has always proven himself to me time and time again. Oh sure, he has his days where he forgets to actually LOAD ARROWS into his bow when he fires... but thankfully those are few and far between.

So, how about you? Who's your first draft pick when making an army? Is it a unit that you rely on a lot, maybe you don't have a particular unit that you like to use... or maybe even more so you just reach in a bag and pull on out randomly.

Who's your first draft pick?

(Again, realize... we always play by draft. I don't think we've played a game where we brought pre-made armies. Like I said, we are ' more frequent casual Scapers.' We love the game, but I'll be darned if I can't tell you half the figure's names...)
Total Comments 16


S1R_ART0R1US's Avatar
My draft pick is usually Drake SotM or the AE. Ever since my first MS I've loved Drake and the boys.
Posted October 15th, 2008 at 05:33 PM by S1R_ART0R1US S1R_ART0R1US is offline
If I draft second, I usually counter-draft for whatever unit my opponent's picked. But if I pick first, I have a few favorites.

I didn't have a figure I liked to pick time and time again before Major Q10 came along-- not only is he functional, but he looks really cool. I also favor the Hulk, not because he's such a great unit (I still haven't figured out how to avoid the Acid Breaths and Chomps with him), but because he was always my favorite Super Hero.

From a drafting strategy standpoint, I'll often start off with a James Murphy, who's versatile enough to work in just about any army. Sometimes I'll pick Agent Carr for the same reasons. It's a way of hedging my draft until my opponent shows his hand...
Posted October 15th, 2008 at 05:51 PM by Elginb Elginb is offline
Nadi's Avatar
I agree, my second draft pick (or first, if I don't get to go first and Syvarris has been taken) is usually a 'counter-draft' as you guys have stated. For example:

A popular pick for the SHS is the vampire (chilling touch). Sorry, name escapes me at the moment... as I said, we aren't 'super hardcore.' If that's picked against me, then usually it's any robot, most notably the one with the claw. There's nothing like clamping him down and rendering him not only in-effective against your soulborgs, but boosted your defense dice to a total of 7 to help deal with the threat.

Another favorite (for some reason) is the archer elves. James Murphy comes to mind... I've seen many a squads been killed in one shot gun blast when it comes to him.

Usually when either Drake (ver 1 or 2) is drafted, one of my favorite strategies against him it to use the Ratchets of Bogden (is that name right?). Granted, it's a very risky method to deal with him... because sometimes you don't even get to see them put in play, but there's nothing like taking out a fully healthy drake with a good roll of 3 attacks skulls, knowing that there is nothing they can do against you.

Braxis is also another favorite, but I usually draft him LATE in the draft, to see what everyone has. If against me, normally, I just start drafting larger characters that he can't acid breath.
Posted October 15th, 2008 at 06:01 PM by Nadi Nadi is offline
Jexik's Avatar
Nilfheim and the AE were always my favorites whenever I'd play a drafted game. I'd take Nilfheim if I went first, and both if I went second.
Posted October 15th, 2008 at 07:20 PM by Jexik Jexik is offline
Wow ...I can't even recall the last time I drafted an army...usually we are either playing in tournaments or play-testing tournament army ideas.

I like to let my sons pick their armies then I pick mine to show them the flaws in their army building. They are getting better but still are a little stubborn.
Posted October 15th, 2008 at 07:43 PM by Onacara Onacara is offline
Bones's Avatar
My current first pick is usually a solid squad like the Krav Agents, but I really like the new collection 8 wolves because they are fun. As far as heroes are concerned, I choose Kaemon Awa just so no one else can use him. If I chose a hero that I would want to use, it would be Krug or Sir Denrick.
Posted October 16th, 2008 at 08:25 AM by Bones Bones is offline
nyys's Avatar
I believe my first couple games of Scape were drafts, but since we've always played pre-made.
Posted October 16th, 2008 at 02:16 PM by nyys nyys is offline
Nadi's Avatar
I think the problem we have with 'pre-made' is that we always have to use the same pool of charcters and we always play at the same location (where it is all stored.) None of us own any of our 'own' stuff, so we always have to share... thus, the drafting always takes place.
Posted October 16th, 2008 at 02:42 PM by Nadi Nadi is offline
Jexik's Avatar
Drafting is probably one of the fairest ways to go about it in that situation, and if you guys do it all the time, it hopefully doesn't add too much time to setup.

With premades, especially if you are using a common stock of units, you've got to let the other guy know what you're playing, and that can lead to situation like this:

"I'm going with Heavy Gruts. I haven't played them in awhile."

"Okay. I'm playing Gladiatrons and Blastatrons." The thing is, I should have known he'd pick them. Not because they're strong, but because he thinks they look awesome.
Posted October 16th, 2008 at 04:06 PM by Jexik Jexik is offline
Nadi's Avatar
Hehehe. Yeah. Well, I think of the disadvantages that we have is that we have every character released so far(outside the specials... like Flags and limited edition figures), but we only have ONE of the commons for each group. (Which, this makes me thing of another blog entry right there...) So, when it comes to the 'army' approach that a lot of you probably play, we are limited to just one squad of each, which usually gets picked to go along with a particualr hero which the squad works well with.

(Of course, Zombies, Road Walkers, and the SotM characters we have more than just 1 squad, but those are by default.) So, everytime we play, the game is very unique because no person hardly ever uses the same characters that another player is using. We realize that characters like the Marro Drones are at a big disadvantage, because they get their strentgh from having multiple numbers (moving up to 9 at a time... that's pimp.) So, I'm sure strategy and game play mechanics change greatly when you know you can only draft 4 Deathreavers, instead of like... 20.
Posted October 16th, 2008 at 04:15 PM by Nadi Nadi is offline
The people I play with like to pick all of their Characters first. They want me to pick last. They like to leave me with all the "bad" units. I usually win because I can counter draft their armies.
Posted October 18th, 2008 at 12:34 PM by Dualahorn Dualahorn is offline
Einar's puppy's Avatar
We don't really draft, we Daft. Instead of picking in an order, we dash for the figure, yanking thme from a comapct box. If someone grabs a squad figure, the whole squad it theres. If one player has arrow gruts and the other grabs Krug, the third player gets both.

There is no order, only chaos. hence the Izumi-old drake-Syvaris-shades(1)-heavy gruts(no champ) armies which seem to pop up so often.

In this mad dash of a draft, Keamon Awasome seems to be picked early a lot, as is Krug/gruts and Q10 too.
Posted October 18th, 2008 at 05:44 PM by Einar's puppy Einar's puppy is offline
Nadi's Avatar
Now, THAT is hilarious. We should try that at our next game.
Posted October 19th, 2008 at 08:17 AM by Nadi Nadi is offline
AliasQTip's Avatar
I don't think the wife and I have ever drafted. We've been collecting HeroScape for a while and have almost one of everything (with the exception of a few sets from Wave 2 and the Promos). It's a little laid back for us. We just choose figures that work well with the terrain/scenario and try to maximize our points. She often goes with some Agents. And we nearly always get Isamu or Otonashi (sometimes Kyntela Gwyn) just to use up any remaining points.
Posted November 20th, 2008 at 10:16 AM by AliasQTip AliasQTip is offline
Scaperedude's Avatar
I love the Fen Hydra, stingers (I love stingers!!!), or Q9 for a first draft!!!
Posted December 6th, 2014 at 01:12 AM by Scaperedude Scaperedude is offline
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