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'Scaper-of-the-Month #83 - Porkins

Posted September 10th, 2012 at 05:43 PM by AliasQTip

'Scaper-of-the-Month #83 is...



Who are you, really? Rob Witham

(I'm the one on the right)

How old are you? 38

What is your occupation? Mechanical Engineer

What other interests do you have?
I enjoy lots of outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, waterskiing, roller hockey...do I have to stop? I'm married and have four kids, so we try to do these things as a family. This summer we spent a week on a houseboat at Lake Powell waterskiing with friends.

What’s another board game you enjoy and why?
I really enjoy Puerto Rico, and not just because I lived there for a couple years. I love the fact that every choice you make in the game also affects other players. This forces you to evaluate what action helps you the most while helping other the least. Additionally, there is no randomness in the game, like Chess. If you can think ahead far enough and predict what your opponents will do, it helps you evaluate your best action. And then there is the balance between building your economy and earning victory points that is challenging to figure out.

Who, or what, is you avatar and how did you come up with your username?
My username and avatar is Porkins. Jek Porkins is a minor character from Star Wars: A New Hope. He is one of the first X-Wing pilots killed above the Death Star.

I began using the name around 1997 or so, when online video games were just getting started. I was playing X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter. I played fairly well against the computer, but whenever I went online, I was getting killed almost immediately. So I donned the name "Porkins" and I have just continued using it ever since.


When and how did you first get into HeroScape?
Let's see, my join date for this site is Feb. 24, 2009, which means I first got into Heroscape on Feb. 23, 2009. I remember seeing the game when it came out in 2004. And it looked awesome! But I didn't know whether it would be awesome, so $40 seemed steep. At that time I was thinking of it as a mere board game, and 40 bucks was a lot more than Monopoly or any other mere board game.

I continued looking at the displays for a long time, then SotM came out, and it looked cool too, but less in it. Over time the game sort of disappeared from Walmart shelves and I forgot about it.

In December 2008, we were visiting family for the Holidays and my son and nephew were playing Heroscape with a kid from across the street. I walked in and saw that they had Spider-Man, Hulk, some army men and a huge gold dragon all on one neat looking map! And instantly, an obsession was born. I got online and ordered some stuff. When it arrived my kids and I played it; loved it; the next day I joined Heroscapers.com.

What is your favorite aspect of HeroScape and why?
I know you said "favorite aspect" but I want to talk about more than just one aspect. First is the incredible look and feel of nicely painted minis with actual 3D terrain! Then you have all the gameplay aspects, where you combine asymetrical, rock-paper-scissor armies with different strengths and weaknesses (unless you are playing Q9, Rats and Raelin vs Q9, Rats and Raelin at GenCon) and then attempt to outwit your opponents while having to deal with just the right amount (in my opinion) of random outcome due to dice rolling. I see it as a game of attempting to stack mathematical probabilities in your favor. And finally, the icing on the cake is the infinite replay value in creating your own maps, scenarios, back stories, armies, custom figures, custom terrain, etc.

To whom is your allegiance and why?
Well, speaking of stacking the odds in your favor, Utgar has definitely done that. How can you not find something to love about Utgar's forces when there are twice as many choices as all the others put together? But I guess I would have to say that I don't really have an answer for this question. I really like to mix it up and play different figures.

Who are your favorite heroes and why?
Unique: I think I'm going to have to say Mika Connour. Like most of the D&D wave figures, she suffers from being a mediocre sculpt. But she makes up for it in fun gameplay. I like hopping all over the map in a shadowy dungeon game, then popping out and putting the hurt on a big hero.
Uncommon: Fen Hydra - these guys are scary to go up against.
Common: Drow Chainfighter - the Chain Grab ability is really fun! Mortal Kombat: "GET OVER HERE!"

What are your favorite squads and why?
Unique: Tagawa Samurai - getting these guys charged up on a few wimpy squad figures and then going after a big hero is fun to do!
Common: This is a tough one. It's a toss up between Knights of Weston and Zombies.

What is your favorite Special Ability and why?
Chomp is definitely one of my favorites, though I'm often on the receiving end of it. Just the other day I was playing with my daughter. I had Venom all cued up to jump up on top of the castle where she had Q9 camped out when POW! Venom got chomped, leaving me no way to deal with 20 level high Q9.

What is your favorite map and why?
My favorite scenario type map is The Sunken Crypt. We had a lot of fun playing through that scenario, and the multi-level map is amazing to behold too!

My favorite competition style map is Invasion. I like this map because it appears simple at first, but playing it reveals that there are a lot of careful choices to make when fighting over the high ground in the center.

And at risk of sounding like a kiss-up, I honestly really enjoyed Long Bridge by AliasQTip.


What do you enjoy most about HeroScapers.com?
It is definitely the people that make this place what it is. The atmosphere here is friendly. While the information about the game itself is nice, I keep coming back because of the groups of people I interact with here and the projects I am involved with and the friends I've made. Due to traveling frequently for work, I've also been able to meet quite a few people in person and play a game or three with them.

It's great that there are so many talented people here who are so willing to share and help. I've learned so much about custom unit creation through working with the HoSS group and being a reviewer for C3G (I'm not sure how I convinced them to give me that gig). I've also learned tons about figure painting and terrain building just by hanging around here, asking questions and absorbing great ideas. Plus there are whole other areas that I don't get too involved in, such as fan fiction, original artwork, unit strategy and map building. Just a lot of talented, geeky people here, and I'm glad to call myself one of us.

Describe your favorite HeroScape moment.
Oh, there are many fun moments, but my kids and I once built a map called "No Baby Land." At the time our youngest kid was about a year old and we had another one year old we were fostering. So the two older kids and I built this big free-form map on the floor with a grassy field and a river running through it. We surrounded the map with a table on it's side, boxes and other obstacles to prevent babies from getting to the map. Once the map was built, each of us took one FotA and built a castle and put a flag on top. We played capture the flag.

Now to the favorite moment part: after a long game of trying to get into a castle and get out alive with a flag, I finally managed to grab somebody's flag, with my army almost completely spent. Isamu was the flag carrier and was returning to my base as quickly as possible. But he was killed by a ranged attacker and dropped the flag kinda near my castle. Well, all I had left were some 4th Mass defending my flag on top of a twenty level castle. So I determined that the only option to get the flag before Isamu's killer got it was to have my 4th Mass leap off, take Major Falling Damage and hope that one survived. None did. But it was funny to leap them over the edge of the castle one by one to fall to their deaths. Just like Herbert. (david, I'm counting on you for this one!)

What can you tell us about Heroes of StarWars Scape (HoSS)?
HoSS is an effort to create Custom Cards, Maps, Destructible Objects and eventually Terrain and Vehicles set in the Star Wars universe. It is a group project wherein members take turns designing a card and then the group discusses it, with the designer leading the discussion. The group members sort of come and go, but a lot of groundwork has been completed which has allowed us to really design some great cards (at least I think so). We have completed preliminary versions of quite a few cards which are linked in the OP of the HoSS thread. Additionally, mac122 modified a card template originally created by A3n to be our HoSS card template. The new template really looks good, and mac used some magic he knows to make the hit zone images look like Star Wars style holograms.

Now that we have generated quite a few cards, we're trying to get going on playtests to check the playability and cost of the cards and tweak any that need adjustment. The plan is to release a Master Set using the characters of Episode 4: A New Hope. The Master Set will also include maps and scenarios (some of which have already been completed and playtested) representing some of the locales in that movie. In the future we will follow up the Master Set with wave style releases where each wave would be dedicated to one of the other movies, as well as Expanded Universe and Clone Wars cartoon characters. But how soon this happens will all depend on how quickly we can get the playtests done. So that is something that we could really use the community's help on. Drop in and introduce yourself and start participating if you have any interest at all. Everybody is welcome! May the Force be with us!

Is there any member of HeroScapers.com you’d really like to play against?
Well now that you've got me talking about HoSS, I'd really like to play some Star Wars with mac122. He and I have been working together on HoSS for a couple years now, and we work well together. He's got lots of great ideas and talent, and I think it would be cool to meet up some time!


Which unit would you say is better: Izumi Samurai or Zettian Guards?
Zettian Guards can stand back and blast the Samurai before they can even get to them...but I rarely play either of them.

What two units would you like to see in the next Unit Debate?
Er...I haven't really kept up on these. How about Arrow Gruts vs. Roman Archers?


Tell us two true things about yourself and one lie.
1. I once crashed a motorcycle while going too fast around a curve. I Supermanned over the front, hit the ground and skidded to a stop, then got up and walked away without injury. I didn't even scratch my helmet.
2. I can land a backflip on a wakeboard.
3. I hate playing this game.

I generally hate choosing favorites, because I usually like many things within a category, but I'll take a shot at it:
Favorite band: The Police
Favorite color: Green
Favorite song: Well, it's certainly not my favorite song, but here is my favorite .


What message do you have for the ‘Scaper community?
Get involved! Put some time into helping make something awesome that benefits other people (such as HoSS, C3V, C3G, customizing, posting terrain tutorials, strategy guides, map design guides, etc.).

Oh and become a Site Supporter. Help keep this great community around for the cost of just one large pizza.

Whom do you pick for the next ‘Scaper of the Week? mac122!
Total Comments 10


Shockma Ranyk's Avatar
I love that video too.
Posted September 10th, 2012 at 08:48 PM by Shockma Ranyk Shockma Ranyk is offline
Arch-vile's Avatar
Good interview Porkins! I expected you were... rounder. Guess that's because of your username . It's cool you do so much active stuff with your kids.

#1 is the lie, I think. You described it much too specifically.
Posted September 11th, 2012 at 12:06 AM by Arch-vile Arch-vile is offline
Tornado's Avatar
Awesome interview Porkins. I am glad to see the spotlight on HoSS. You guys are extremely talented and have a great custom addition to Heroscape.
I love to hear about 4th Mass falling to their death. Now if only every other 4th would follow like lemmings, the world would be a better place.
Posted September 11th, 2012 at 09:12 AM by Tornado Tornado is offline
ZBeeblebrox's Avatar
Great interview, AqT

I love HoSS...but have not had the time to realy invest there...but those cards are bada$$.

Keep up the good work, Porkins.
Posted September 11th, 2012 at 01:07 PM by ZBeeblebrox ZBeeblebrox is offline
Porkins's Avatar
When I linked the word 'video', the word apparently became an embedded youtube thingy. So AQT, maybe you could add the word 'video' in there so that the sentence makes more sense.
Posted September 12th, 2012 at 04:04 PM by Porkins Porkins is offline
davidlhsl's Avatar
Great interview, Porkins, and may the Force be with HoSS!

There is, however, one teensy little problem. While reading your interview, I'm afraid I wasn't paying attention. You guessed it: Prince Herbert left the room. Then the castle sank into the swamp.
Posted September 12th, 2012 at 04:55 PM by davidlhsl davidlhsl is offline
Porkins's Avatar
I think the castle fell over first, did it not?
Posted September 12th, 2012 at 05:10 PM by Porkins Porkins is offline
Arch-vile's Avatar
Please! This is supposed to be a happy occasion. Let's not bicker and argue over who killed who.
Posted September 12th, 2012 at 10:03 PM by Arch-vile Arch-vile is offline
Sherman Davies's Avatar
Glad to see you join the ranks of Scaper of the Month, Porkins! I, too, expected you to be heavier.
Posted September 13th, 2012 at 11:43 AM by Sherman Davies Sherman Davies is offline
Sheep's Avatar
Great Interview Porkins!
Posted September 18th, 2012 at 06:47 AM by Sheep Sheep is offline
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