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Scaper of the Week 16 - Skyknight!!!!

Posted December 20th, 2008 at 02:27 AM by Hex_Enduction_Hour
Updated December 20th, 2008 at 02:20 PM by Hex_Enduction_Hour

Revdyer chose a most excellent Scaper for the spotlight this week - Skyknight! Read on, cuz it's a good one accompanied by some great photos. The child labor, custom terrain sweatshop image (not included) is still my favorite though

Our Sixteenth 'Scaper of the Week is

35 and gaining everyday or so it seems.

Allegiance and why?
Easy question. Definitely Jandar, I have identified with this sort of mentality even when I was young. As a lad we used to play a little D&D (though you had to hide it back in those days like a dirty secret) and I would always play Paladins and Cavaliers. I believe Honor, Freedom, and Justice are all very much worth sacrificing everything for.

When did you get into Heroscape and why?

My last board games I played were back in 1991 and 92. I had a copy of Heroquest that we would get out at college every now and then when we were drinking a bit. From there I joined the military and later got married. I shelved all games, well not actually shelved….I just kind of left them all behind; I have no idea what happened to them all. So I went on with my life for the next 14 years or so and played party like games with my wife and friends but never got back into any other games.
And that’s when it happened, I saw Scape sitting on the shelf and it drew me in like a moth to a flame but I fought the urge at first. My thoughts were why would anyone pay 40$ for a board game. Well something weird kept happening, every time we went to the store for groceries I would find myself over in the toy aisle looking at this picture of dragons and soldiers going at it. Finally I brought my 4-year-old twins over to look at the game and asked…is this something you would like to do with Daddy. It was kind of a loaded question since I knew the answer already. Well we bought it…..and then another….and then wave 1…and then copies of that. Soon we were swimming in Scape and I wanted to know more. That’s when I found Truth’s old Xanga site back in the day that eventually led me to Net. Mind you, I was still not a gamer per se so I never posted there and only started posting at HQ.
The funny thing is that now I own tons of other games, I was only on the net about once every two weeks back before HQ and I had never signed up for any sort of forum at all. Three years ago I did not even know what LOL was and I looked at folks who did as socially deficient….to say the least I was wrong.

Favorite aspect of HeroScape and why?
Heroscape is wonderful because of its simpleness yet depth all at the same time. If I want to play with my little guys I can, if I choose to play with my older kids the game easily adapts to a little more competition….and when we play in a serious tournament the game is absolutely vicious and layered with complexities. Many people say the game has a lot of luck…I disagree, look at the tournaments…it seems it’s always the same groups of folks that are in the standings.

Favorite Hero and why?
Can I answer twice on this one As far as playability I love Kaemon, he is an absolute bear at both range and melee and is always enough of a distraction to make your opponent keep an eye on him and commit while you cook up another strategy to take your opponent by surprise.
But as far as looks….Krug is one of the finest sculpts ever…I love everything about that figure.

Favorite Unique Squad and why?
This is the one thing I always thought we should have more of, unique squads. From the ones we do have I would have to say I love the Airborne Elite. The look upon an opponent’s face as the drop on the high ground and begin lobbing grenades into hordes of vipers is priceless.

Favorite Common Squad and why?
The squad that always is the most fun for me to play is the Shades, I love the whole possession ability and I am a person who loves to take chances. Again, the joy of watching your opponents figures turn on him one by one is absolutely priceless.

Favorite ability or special attack
This is a tough one but I have to say for flavor, I love Zelrig’s ability of Majestic fires. The thought of this mighty dragon strolling onto the field and incinerating peasants left and right fits this character perfectly. I love the idea of a figure that makes 10th Mass users say …ooohhhhh crap!!!

What do you enjoy most about Heroscapers.com?
This is a bit personal and I thought about whether or not I should post this here but in the end I decided I should. Heroscapers. Com means much much more to me than just a website. To understand this I will give a little background. I apologize ahead of time if this is kind of depressing.
I left the US Army on Aug 15th 2001, after we had our fourth and fifth kids (the twins) I decided that the military was me being selfish. I loved the military but it was not the safest place for a father of five to be working…especially in aviation. So I hung up my rifle, took off my uniform so that my children would not grow up without a father. That was one of the toughest choices I ever made and I have replayed it in my mind a thousand times over to see if I would have done things differently.
Almost one month later the towers fell just a few hours away from my home and I grew angry. I wanted revenge, I was a demon on a machine gun and I wanted to reign hell down on those who had harmed those I had sworn to protect. I was prepared to go back in but I kept coming back to why I had gotten out. Was I prepared to leave my wife with five kids…two of which were 6 months old and may never know their father if I had fallen. I was torn in two….I chose to live for my family. I am not sure I made the right choice but it was the choice I made so I am the one who has to live with it. But I chose to sit this one out this time and let others shoulder my burden.
This choice ate at me day and night and then about 6 months later it happened…my first friend died, no body was ever found. My other friend sent me a recording of his voice right before they went down…I can still hear his voice on that tape. This tore me up inside like no wound could have ever done but fate was not done with me. Over the next three or four years I lost my comrades one right after another after another after another, and those who were coming home were coming home with all of their bones separated in their legs…fake jaws…and on anti-depressants for things they had seen and done. And still, I sat in my living room, guilt tearing me apart. I went into a very deep shell and I cut off contact with everyone except my direct family. I could not bare the thought of losing another friend so I went dark…it was a tough couple years of my life those were.
And then it happened…I finally posted on HQ and I got a response from another individual. It was nice, I was able to open up a bit but still maintain a bit of anonymity. Slowly I began to post more and more and then the guilt and despair I was feeling began to lift, I was coming back to life. Next thing I know I am surrounded by folks I had only met on line but considered some of my dearest friends. And now…well I can’t get enough of em…I wish we lived so much closer because every time the guys and I get together my spirit is at peace and I get a true sense of fulfillment from the experience. As for real life, well I am back to being semi social again and have a few good friends these days I have made since the military. I am not sure this would have happened if I had not had Scapers to help me transition back into society again. Part of me died in the sands of Iraq and Afghanistan and I never stepped foot in either country. Scapers helped bring me back from the edge…so what does this site mean to me? This silly little game site means everything to me…I thank God for leading me to a place where I could slowly heal and become whole again.
Sorry, but you asked…

Most memorable moment playing Heroscape?
I have two; both are a couple of my favorite memories….

There we are…The Guru and I vs. Craig VanNess and John from Hasbro. We are sitting in the Ram and all four of us have had a few too many beers. My Knights Templar gets locked up and I look at Chris and ask him if I can move through the back half of a double spaced figure if his front half is engaged. Now as I said, we were drinking. So the Guru…the rules master himself, King of the FAQ…says absolutely. VanNess looks at us and calls out the Guru hard on the play. So the Guru in his drunken stupor throws a twenty out on the table and calls Craig a name. Next thing I know cash is flying to get in on this bet and the whole bar goes silent as onlookers begin to pile in to see the commotion…turns out Craig was right much to the dismay of my buddy the Guru AKA Jazzhands We never let the Guru live that one down.
My other memory is Mr. Bistro and I playing for the Rhode Island Championship as a team and one of our final opponents was Craig VanNess and Chris Nelson. It was a brutal game but Bistro and I pulled it out in the end. I felt a little bad about beating the creator of the game and the creator of Marvelscape but at the same time it was a really good feeling knowing that we had just done just that.

Maybe you're excited about the Wave 9 news?
All I can say about Wave 9 is that you guys are going to love it! A lot of hard work went into this Wave and I think we will all see come next summer that it really paid off.

Can you tell the community what you do for a living and do you have a picture of the coolest 'copter you've ever worked on?
I work for Sikorsky aircraft as the head of flight line operations these days. When I tried to explain this job to Bistro he replied " Oh, you are like Chief on Battlestar Galactica….that pretty much nailed it on the head. I just moved to this position around three months ago, before this I was in charge of the Firescout program…a fully autonomous full sized helicopter that will be going into action very soon. Much of the blood and sweat that went into aircraft is mine and I carry a strange sense of pride with me about this. I imagine it was the same for the men who built the first submarine or airplane. I have worked on Chinooks for the Army, Blackhawks for Sikorsky, Commercial Aircraft and others as well. Still the Firescout has a special place in my heart. I am very proud of the fact that Scout will save American lives and inspire terror in the hearts of our enemies. Many people call us Skynet..I see it differently, I see Scout as the savior from above. I have no idea how many lives these aircraft will save…but knowing that I have the potential of saving thousands of my brothers in arms makes me proud. And being on futureweapons was pretty cool too.

How do you manage to work, be husband, homeowner, father, and still have time to play 'Scape and build those awesome map masterpieces?!?
You forgot attending college . It is not an easy thing to balance a 60-hour a week job, school, and a family of 7 so I try to make my hobbies things that can include my kids. My family is everything to me, I love being around my kids and board games are a wonderful tool to bring us together as a family.
As far as the giant maps…well those are my quiet times. When I build those I usually start with a very generic idea in my head. From there I let my hands take over and begin placing pieces where they want. Slowly the board takes shape and grows into a world all into itself. The greatest satisfaction is when my seven year olds ask if they can just play with it and the figures for a good long while before we ever play Scape on it. As an artist I am sure you understand the feeling of getting lost in your work. I also do custom terrain for the same reason.

Another board game you enjoy and why?
I play tons of other games but since you asked for one I am going to name my absolute favorite besides Scape. Descent is one of the most fulfilling games I have ever played, it has the best dice mechanic of any game ever and every game is an absolute epic!!! Highly, highly suggested.

Other interests?
I played Rugby for many, many years in both the civilian world and for the US Army. I miss playing an awful lot but my bones don’t heal like they used to. I love reading, history, a good debate, and Science. I grew up a country boy and I still enjoy nature very much as well. I do a little Scuba Diving and my ultimate goal in life is to travel the rest of the world with me beautiful wife!! To be honest I have more hobbies than I do time…:0)

How do you rate California wines?
I feel bad for many people, I feel bad for those folks who say I only drink California wines, or French ones. Wines from every area in the world are different and each carries their own characteristics that should be celebrated, not snubbed. So do I love California wines as much as I love the wines we make here in NY…absolutely. Our wines here are very similar to German wines, California’s give Italy and Australia a run for their money. As a matter of fact the dark jammy flavors of a gorgeous Red Zin are very hard to beat indeed. Always remember this…the best wines are the ones you like :0)

What message do you have for the community ?
My message to the community is as follows…we all need to remember that Scapers is the stage upon which we all come together. The site needs to be respected so that all folks, new and old, can be comfortable there. If you are new to the site, well don’t get a sense of entitlement…Scapers owes you nothing. If you are one of the Veterans, well remember, we were all new at one time and the young ones we beat up today may very well have been the next Grungebob or Rev if we had let them blossom a little, so try to be patient when we can. I speak for myself as well…we should all really only say things on the forum that we are willing to say to a person in real life.

Who do you pick for the next 'Scaper of the Week?
So many to choose from, but I think I will go with generosity on this one. One of the worst things about an online community is that when you lose touch with someone you never know if they are ok or not. I remember back when we all sat around watching a thread about one of our own who was in for some serious surgery wondering if the next post would be his last. I am proud to say it was not and this man’s spritely smile and gleam in his eye have forced me to nickname him twinkle. A smile so big it is only surpassed by his generosity as he always looks out for those friends around him. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you my dear friend…Jim

Total Comments 23


Hex_Enduction_Hour's Avatar
Shades of Bleakewoode - dang, Sky knows how to have fun at Scape! Thanks for your time, SkyKnight. Readers, feel free to ask away questions for our amazing Scaper!
Posted December 20th, 2008 at 02:31 AM by Hex_Enduction_Hour Hex_Enduction_Hour is offline
Updated December 20th, 2008 at 10:39 AM by Hex_Enduction_Hour
Hahnarama's Avatar
Ah the Gygax moment....I'm there staring at the sweetest onion on a waitress you have ever seen and you keep ranting about how Gygax was at the Ram....If I had known Joah was going to send him to an early grave I would have jumped in the picture.
Posted December 20th, 2008 at 10:26 AM by Hahnarama Hahnarama is offline
AliasQTip's Avatar
I did the exact same thing when I was eyeballing my first Master Set. Is $40 to much to spend on a board game? Since then, I've probably sunk more than half-a-grand into the game. Congradulations! Also, an excellent choice for next week.
Posted December 20th, 2008 at 10:35 AM by AliasQTip AliasQTip is offline
Hex_Enduction_Hour's Avatar
@ Hahn!
Posted December 20th, 2008 at 10:35 AM by Hex_Enduction_Hour Hex_Enduction_Hour is offline
nyys's Avatar
Something that is not said enough to those who are there now, or those who were there before... thank you! You're sacrifice does not go unnoticed in this house.
Posted December 20th, 2008 at 11:27 AM by nyys nyys is offline
Heroscape Elffy's Avatar
Thanks for all your troubles around the site, Skyknight. Thanks for everything.
Posted December 20th, 2008 at 12:36 PM by Heroscape Elffy Heroscape Elffy is offline
gorthan313's Avatar
Wow. Skyknight and I have the same favorite unique squad, and same first and second place winners for favorite hero. I also like KA and Krug for the same reasons that Skyknight likes those two! Another great interview by the way!
Posted December 20th, 2008 at 01:32 PM by gorthan313 gorthan313 is offline
Hex_Enduction_Hour's Avatar
Sky was your wife's finger placement intentional in that family shot?

The snow picture is awesome, btw.
Posted December 20th, 2008 at 02:15 PM by Hex_Enduction_Hour Hex_Enduction_Hour is offline
This was an awesome read from an awesome guy.

When my son and I went to our first tournament we were a bit spoiled because we got to meet Bistro, Guru, tehfattestNinja and Uprising...but what made it even better was that my son played Skyknight in his very first game and Sky was truly awesome with him helping him out considering we really weren't that good at the game at the time. Thank you my friend for increasing my sons enjoyment of this great game and making his first competitive game one he will never forget.
Posted December 20th, 2008 at 04:22 PM by Onacara Onacara is offline
rym's Avatar
Thanks for your time in the service. My family and I enjoy our many freedoms because of you and your brothers-in-arms and the sacrifices you all have made, skyknight. Thank you.
Posted December 20th, 2008 at 05:27 PM by rym rym is offline
skyknight's Avatar
Thanks guys...and no Hex...I never noticed that before but I actually think that one was unintentional.
Posted December 20th, 2008 at 06:47 PM by skyknight skyknight is offline
Cleon's Avatar
Thanks skyknight, it was a very interesting read. See you at the con in 09!
Posted December 20th, 2008 at 07:12 PM by Cleon Cleon is offline
J4Jandar's Avatar
Honor and integrity are important to me. My father was a combat controller during the '60's, an L.A police officer for six years and a Game Warden for 30. His advice was always spot on and I never had reason for doubt. I always thought of him as an extroardinary man and all I can say is I am glad there are fathers like the both of you.
Posted December 20th, 2008 at 11:52 PM by J4Jandar J4Jandar is offline
skyknight's Avatar
The words honor and integrity mean different things to different people. Some shrug them off as useless concepts or words only. But I can tell all of our young folks here...if you become the guy to where your word is as good as any contract, you always tell the truth no matter how much it hurts to do so (except for Santa) and you allow no one to take your honor, especially yourself, you will begin to see things very differently after a while.

There are many role models I have modeled myself after and many times it is a concious effort to follow in their footsteps, there are times I fall short. But as was said in the the movie Batman (which is a strange place to find inspiration) Why do we fall down? So we can pick ourselves back up.....those words were perfect for me when I heard em. Before that it was always "pick yourself back up outta the mud by your bootstrings". They mean pretty much the same thing.
Posted December 21st, 2008 at 06:06 AM by skyknight skyknight is offline
SlikkRikk's Avatar
It was a pleasure to read that Skyknight, and a great sampling of who you are and what you're all about. Plus, I know the four guys in the picture with you!

FWIW, you made the right decision re: family. As an American I truly respect that decision.
Posted December 22nd, 2008 at 12:14 PM by SlikkRikk SlikkRikk is offline
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