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Random thoughts from GenCon 2009 and an apology to PETE RUTH

Posted August 20th, 2009 at 11:21 PM by butchflannagan
Hello fellow Scapers. I have never felt the urge to write a "blog" entry before in my life. However, I do feel compelled to do so upon my return from GenCon 2009. I am going to skip the kudos and fanfare to the event organizers (but they did do a crackin' fine job) and just get down to my experience (I want to go to bed, lol). So here goes...

I do not play many games of Heroscape outside of my basement nor with many other people other than a close knit group of folks that I have gamed with for over 10 years now. Often times we do not select Heroscape as our top pick for a game to play. It is generally reserved for when my nephew comes to visit, who is 11. This arrangement works fine for me all year round. I play a few games of 'scape with my nephew and my friends, we have a good time and nothing more comes of it. However, this arrangement proved to be very faulty when it came to playing with opponents at GenCon. Before I go too far down one road here, every opponent I played against at GenCon was great. I have no gripes about any of my opponents from the young ones to the old ones. Now then, back on subject.

I have established that I game inside of a bubble with like minded people (for the most part). When this happens you tend to get a different slant on things. We have a few "house rules" so to speak. We do not let people make ranged attacks at models that are engaged in melee combat. This rule was easy to overcome. No biggee. Another one is no shooting directly through jungle tiles at a man sized target (basically they block line of sight. No "seeing" a little piece of a model between jungle branches). Again, this rule was easy to overcome, although it bit me a few times but that was OK. We also play (stick with me here people, I know I am all over the board here) that, just like jungle tiles block line of sight, so do friendly (or enemy) models. I know, this is what the rules state. I mean to say that if you have a model between your shot and your intended target and they are the same "size" or smaller, you cannot "see" it well enough to target and shoot. So none of this "I can see your toe or index finger around my model so therefor I can shoot you" stuff. This one was very hard for me to get around. I had some folks take some crazy shots at my guys over the weekend. But again, I know the rules say it is legal so no one was doing me "wrong" per se.

Our final house rule (which this is the one I feel strongly about that should be a REAL rule) is that we keep our figures centered on the hex tiles. I had opponents lop sided leaning in one hex and then another in the hex in front of them leaning lop sided off the other way just to gain line of site. I really do not like this practice. I always try to play a "gentleman's" game and I just find this practice to be a bit much. I know that the tournament crowd will scoff at all I have to say and will always have "the rules" to back them up. But sometimes you have to stop and just take a different look at things. Sometimes when you choose to focus on what is illegal in a game (ie: against the rules) you begin to take advantage of what is "legal" in a game almost to the point of stretching it too far. Does anyone else have an opinion of hex placement as it pertains to where your miniatures stand? Is it fine to hug the hex rim to pull off some crazy bank shot around other models? Just curious.

Also, I want to publicly apologize to Pete Ruth whom I had as an opponent in one of my tournament rounds. I ultimately showed my arse to him, albeit in a polite fashion. He was doing just what I described above but I know in the rules this activity is legal, so I had no reason to call him out. I simply told him during play that I would let him have his shot but I was doing so under protest. He took my statement very well and did not get too excited and also moved his figures next turn to humor me. Either way, I was in the wrong and should have kept my mouth shut. I was there to play for fun but I did not show it during that game. I do not know if Pete is a member of this site but if anyone knows him, tell him that the man that cried about his archer placement is publicly trying to right this wrong. Don't get me wrong, we still shook hands and still had a good game but it could have been better if I had not opened my trap.
Total Comments 15


Oh yeah, for what it is worth Pete beat me as did every other opponent all weekend. I never won a single game all weekend and came in dead last in the "General Wars" competition for those of you that were curious. Serves me right I feel.
Posted August 20th, 2009 at 11:23 PM by butchflannagan butchflannagan is offline
Einar's puppy's Avatar
Alright, I want to address your concerns on the LOS issues.
I am not, nor will I ever be, a griper about LOS.
If there isn't something like a ruin, a tree, or a wall in between our figures I generally just go with it. Even if my guy is a legionary behind a shield in between two other legionaries so that he is totally shielded, I'll still give you the shot. Here's my thing: If it's not obvious LOS blockage, it's not LOS blockage at all. I do occasionally check when it is just enough to be skeptical, but mostly I just give my opponent toe shots and such because I hate arguing rules and that's just me.

That said, I ALWAYS check ambiguous LOS when it is my figure attacking. I'm fine with losing a few of my own figures from shots to the out stretched toe, or from shots by the leaning soldier. It is when I may be killing my oponent's figures that I really check it. I never want to be the guy who "Won because of that cheap shot". when I shoot, it is at something that I'm sure I can shoot at.

Does that make sense? I am lienient when they are shooting at me, but I don't want to wrongly get shots on my oponent when I shouldn't.
Posted August 21st, 2009 at 12:26 AM by Einar's puppy Einar's puppy is offline
killercactus's Avatar
I know that, in the rules, each figure has to be completely on the hex (meaning, completely on the raised, painted part of the hex). I don't know what this "leaning figure" thing is about, but I'm pretty darned sure that if the "leaning figure" is leaning because it isn't on the painted part of the hex, then it can't legally stand there.

If someone does that to me in order to get LOS, I politely tell them that their figure must be completely on the hex and then we can re-check LOS. As long as the figure is positioned correctly, I'm pretty lenient on LOS.
Posted August 21st, 2009 at 09:33 AM by killercactus killercactus is offline
ollie's Avatar
I play it as killercactus does. The figures don't need to be centered but they do need to have their base on the raised part of the hex.
Posted August 21st, 2009 at 10:03 AM by ollie ollie is offline
Aldin's Avatar
Pete is a site member. I'll make sure I PM him with a link to your blog.

~Aldin, courier for hire
Posted August 21st, 2009 at 10:07 AM by Aldin Aldin is offline
SuperflyTNT's Avatar
Yes, I know Pete. He's a cheating bastich.

I was at that game, and he had them all the way on the raised hexes, but one archer was to the left inside the hex, and the other was on the right. Neither were off the hex at all. You were well within your rights to question it, although it was legal, and no harm = no foul. Just note that in the rules you may place your figure in any orientation, any direction, and anywhere on the hex provided he is ON the raised part of the hex and not hanging over. Further, you can move any one of your figures you want to hide them ON YOUR TURN, but as R˙chean pointed out, on your opponent's turn you may not touch your figures except to remove the fallen.

Either way, Pete had a great game against you, really enjoyed the conversation and the game. He wasn't the least bit irritated. Didn't he even invite you to play next time you were in Northern KY?

~Someone close to Pete
Posted August 21st, 2009 at 10:24 AM by SuperflyTNT SuperflyTNT is offline
Jexik's Avatar

I played against Pete Ruth too. But it was Heat of Battle, so I didn't get a chance to see his LoS hax in play.
Posted August 21st, 2009 at 02:29 PM by Jexik Jexik is offline
SuperflyTNT's Avatar
Yeah, Pete is kind of a douche.
Posted August 21st, 2009 at 03:06 PM by SuperflyTNT SuperflyTNT is offline
Pete was a fine gentleman and a good opponent. I was the one completely in the wrong and it was still bugging me days afterwards (obviously if I am writing my first ever blog entry in my life to apologize to the man).

And to Einar's Puppy, that is a great way for you to play. Being a generous player is a very good quality. I will admit, I am generally a very generous player (I just snapped at Pete for some reason). My group of friends just find it easier to say like size figures block line of site as opposed to not blocking. This eleiminates an unveritable congo line shooting at you. You should have a firing line, not a firing corridor.
Posted August 21st, 2009 at 10:24 PM by butchflannagan butchflannagan is offline
R˙chean's Avatar
butchflannagan, I think you and I played a game too and I also got some feedback from others you played.

I feel bad in a way because you were out of your element and it caused you some struggles with the events.

At the same time, this wasn't our first rodeo; 4 years now we have been doing this. This was the first time I can recall someone showing up with an extensive list of house rules they use and with an attitude that seemed to be with the intent of changing things.

I mean to say it literally came off like you were hoping the opponent or the tournament organizers would make a ruling or concession to change things right then and there to the way you do things. Making your opponents feel as if they cheated you was a byproduct of your repeated mentioning of your house rules. I know I felt it when I played you. Your entire demeanor was one of frustration and discontent, like we all cheated you.

I realize you had a tough go but the players at GenCon will chew up and spit out most any casual player, regardless of rule set.

We went by the rules in the books and the FAQ, as we always do. We also made it abundantly clear in the event descriptions and Q&As here at scapers what the rules were and how they would be enforced.

I appreciate you taking the time to apologize to Pete. I am sorry you didn't have a pleasant experience at our events, but I think that is your fault, not ours. We didn't dupe people with a hidden rule set.

When in Rome you do as the Romans do.

I hope you can find the desire to come back out and play with us again next year. At least you won't be taken aback by the way things are done.

I apologize if I come off as little bit touchy here. I take great pride in running and being involved in these events. It is hard for me to detach from that.

P.S. Figure should be on the raised part of the Hex, not leaning on the side.

Wrong Guy...Sorry butchflannagan!!
Posted August 22nd, 2009 at 01:21 PM by R˙chean R˙chean is offline
Updated August 22nd, 2009 at 10:01 PM by R˙chean
Shades fan's Avatar
If their was any debate what so ever, Chis Dupius... aka the guru is always their in case you need any definate rules clarification.

I know when he comes to a tournament in the North East here, it must feel like work to him because of all the questions thrown his way.
Posted August 22nd, 2009 at 02:57 PM by Shades fan Shades fan is offline
R˙chean, I think you must be thinking of another person. You and I did not have a game together. I did not come with an "extensive list" of house rules. My blog entry might contradict that, but all of this debating was going on in my head. The only time it manifested itself during a game was my little hissy with Pete and we both got past it very quickly so I cannot believe that anyone could have felt that I was posing anything on them, let alone trying to rewrite the tournament rules. I honestly think I should have blended into the background and very few people would even remember me (quite apparently obviously, lol).

Then again, maybe I have you pegged as the wrong dude also. I associated you with "Mark" from GenCon. I assume this is correct. If this is correct, I know I did not play a game with you. I was the tall, heavy set (fat, lol), bearded gentleman helping tear down the Scape stuff on Sunday with my nephew. I was bricking and boxing sets. If you are indeed not mistaken and all the things you said above are true and indicative of my demeanor from the weekend then I had really better check myself. Please let me know if your association is still correct. Thanks.
Posted August 22nd, 2009 at 09:13 PM by butchflannagan butchflannagan is offline
R˙chean's Avatar
My apologies butch. Your blog made me think you were someone else. I assumed too much.

Again, my apologies.

Sorry for the confusion. We did have a gentleman at the events that used the same type of rules at home that you did. He was basically telling anyone that would listen and bellyaching the whole time. Again, I assumed too much.

My apologies and thank you for helping with tear down.
Posted August 22nd, 2009 at 10:00 PM by R˙chean R˙chean is offline
Updated August 22nd, 2009 at 10:37 PM by R˙chean
chas's Avatar
As a wargamer, I tend to feel the HS LOS is too liberal, and also have house rules meant to simplify the determination. Like you, I just went to my first tournament (Islandscape), and had to adjust, especially since I was sometimes playing against kids, whose ego you don't want to bruise (some of them who hardly had the motor skills to move their pieces know the rules better than I did).

Actually, when we just can't see the LOS back at home due to having to bend into a pretzel, we first center the figure! Its a tribute to most of the player community that most 'tournaments' manage to run on such a friendly basis.
Posted August 23rd, 2009 at 09:23 AM by chas chas is offline
SuperflyTNT's Avatar
LOS rules are pretty straightforward, I think. If your figure's aim point can see any part of the opponent's target point, you have a valid shot. That's pretty simple, IMO.

-You can't shoot THROUGH a friendly or opposing figure as if they aren't there - you have to position the figures ON the hex (as illustrated above), within the raised, painted area for it to be a valid placement.

- You can't shoot through terrain - the Jungle set is a bit on the sketchy side, IMO, and they should've made set include 6 palm trees rather than with the bushes because it does indeed cause LOS ambiguities. I'm not ultra-competitive, so I always defer (as I did against Butch) to the opponent unless it's very obviously a fair shot.

-Once your turn has ended, the only way to reposition a figure is to reposition it OFF the map because it's KIA.

Seems simple, at least to me, and anyone who knows me knows I'm a simpleton!

Posted August 24th, 2009 at 10:24 AM by SuperflyTNT SuperflyTNT is offline
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