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Old December 13th, 2013, 07:55 AM
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The New York City Gang Of Four

THE NEW YORK CITY GANG OF FOUR

All gaming groups have a natural life, depending on the personal circumstances of its members and group dynamics. After 5 1/2 years of fun, one of our members has finally moved away far enough that he won't be able to attend regularly, if at all. It seems like the end of an era to me, and while I'm sure we'll still be active in various ways, and visit back and forth when we can, I'd like to take the moment to thank my three pals for years of exciting and varied Scaping fun! I've been gaming since the 1960s, doing solo adventures, had local game pals and eventually groups, and even been a long time member of a large gaming club here in New York City. I've done board gaming, miniatures, and role playing over the years, and attended occasional conventions up and down the East Coast. But no gang has been so committed and consistent; and with rare exception we've met monthly, mostly at my apartment, for all that time, playing Heroscape, one single but very flexible game system.

What was to me "Charley's Cobras: Heroscape Division" got started as just a part of my more general gaming. The copyright on my original Rise of the Valkyrie box says 2004. Another old gaming pal picked it up for me with the first couple of expansion sets that year, and I was off. Our site join dates show how early we got organized enough to weigh in here; my date being around the time of the group's formation:

Taeblewalker: May 9, 2006
Sherman Davies: July 16, 2007
Chas: June 23, 2008
Kolakoski: July 15, 2008

I met Kolakoski when he contacted my gaming club here in Brooklyn, looking for an opponent to play Battle Lore. One day when we finished a game early, I had purposely left a Heroscape board set up on the table nearby. As we had a bit of time before he had to go, I suggested we give it a whirl. And so I unleashed him on an unsuspecting Scape World! He became an expert on army building and tactical play, winning or placing high in the Islandscape tournaments we attended in the summer. I enjoyed visiting his home on Roosevelt Island for games. This is that tiny bit of land next to Manhattan that you can visit taking the famous NYC Aerial Tram, although its also convenient to me by subway. For years I would make reference to him plotting on his "Secret Island Base," since although Brooklyn where I live is part of Long Island (home of Griznakh and his gang off to the East, which I visit also), this island is considered pretty exotic even by us NYC dwellers. I'd also go see him perform in singing and dancing show reviews there, where his lovely wife is involved in their performing group's organization and other local social "politics." It was K. who gave our group the name that stuck, as there were clearly four consistent core members.

Sherman Davies was in the only organized Scape group in NYC that I knew of at the time, which was playing at one of the first game stores in NYC which had playing tables for customers and hangers on to use as a gaming location (now out of business). The manager of the local comic book store (now defunct) had been talking about (t)his group (which he then soon left), and I met SD for a couple of sessions there. All of the other members soon dropped out, and he and I started playing at my apartment, which, my being a retired old bachelor, is pretty much dedicated to gaming, watching DVDs, and other related activities. Although I had almost no computer skills, he got me up onsite here, and remained a steadfast pal, introducing me to Super Scape through his amazing customs, which culminated in my Great Supers Card Hunt last year, when I compiled hard copy of was to become about 1,200 custom cards, some of my own design. SD could throw up a usable, playable map in almost no time at all, and really knew his Scape cards; today he is a member of The Inner Sanctum designing our C3V cast of characters that keeps our game fresh and alive.


Taeblewalker had a great place up in the famous and magical City Island in his native Bronx, of great local color, fantastic sea food, restaurants, and even a local folkie cafe where he and other would perform. I soon began to sleep over, and it was a haul from where I live, and spend entire days gaming Scape and other games, and attending some great game days he hosted there. TW is also a member of the Inner Sanctum, and I got to participate in some of his CV play testing, and even had some input on a new card or two, like the Cathar Spearmen. TW is a very active site member like the others, and he writes many strategy articles, soon for our reviving publication. You can also see his name in the fan made custom manuals for our major game variations. I also got him into Battle Lore, which he plunged into with great abandon, designing races which its prolific author Richard Borg was not able to publish officially for the game, such as Elves and Lizard Men, to supplement the game system. Together we tried out almost all of the many expansions to that game, now technically defunct like Scape officially, but not on the tables of its devotees.

The Gang of Four's Scape games were often very different from each other's. Rotating as GM each month, one of us selected a map and scenario, to chart a new path in his own version of Scape. Check out Kolakoski's old blogs for some of our more interesting games, some of which passed into Scape legend and were tried out by other Scape community groups through the site, such as Pirates! We played large point games on big maps, usually four player, although we occasionally had a temporary member or one time visitor to supplement our ranks. The unusual thing was that all four of us stayed as the core group through the years, something I have never seen before in all my own gaming history. We recently had a great 'final game' with all four of us, and it was as much fun as when we started out! There's nothing like a group project where the interests and tastes of the members overlap enough to provide great fun for all concerned!!!

I'm sure I will continue to Scape and experiment with its many, many variations and possibilities. But it was this great group that allowed me to explore the game system all this time, and I want to thank you guys for the many fine experiences. Together we were able to offer each other many different visions and versions of Scape, while still feeding all of our enjoyment. This has included multiple boards that were somehow connected, theme games, Valhalla Society games (no guns), wild scenarios with differing rules and victory conditions, practice tournament games, supers games, all the Official scenarios published during the later life of Scape under DnD Scape, and many customs games with C3V/VC figures. There were mysterious islands to explore, teleportation portals to use, castles, steamy swamps, underground dungeons, battles on Valhalla with General Wars (even one including the Generals themselves), icy mountain passes, burning deserts, custom terrain enhancements, and many, many, many others. Scape On, guys!

By the way, Tablewalker is now located about three hours north of The City, in that vast region of New York we call "upstate" (everything outside the NYC limits). He's now in Monticello, NY. Although he's just now settling in up there, if you live in that region, you might have the opportunity to game with and hang out with him and his wonderful (Scape and other game playing) fiancee. So get in touch with him here onsite and say hello. You'll be glad you did!

***
I have to apologize for the shortness of this post. There's so much more to say. Normally I'd put it in a blog, but many people don't read them, and I wanted our numerous pals here to know about what is going on in The Big Apple. Things change, so seize your Scaping opportunities as they arise, rather than taking them for granted. I'm glad I did.

***
(Edit: December Two Thousand Eighteen) While this thread runs chronologically, I just want to mention up front for any new readers that we have actually continued the group to over eleven years of fun together!)

Last edited by chas; December 15th, 2018 at 05:08 AM.
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  #2  
Old December 13th, 2013, 11:09 AM
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Re: The New York City Gang Of Four

Nicely said Chaz. (Hey, if it's Griznakh to you it's Chaz to me! )

I too have been involved with several groups over the years. They disbanded mainly because I was the one that moved away. I miss all the good times I had with them and stay in contact with many of them. Groups come and go but friendships are forever.

And, as you know, you're always welcome at our monthly game table out here on Long Island. Looking forward to seeing you next Saturday!

My Custom Terrain Thread: http://www.heroscapers.com/community...read.php?t=448
My tribute site to TFT/Melee & Wizards: http://www.meleewizards.com/
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Old December 28th, 2013, 10:59 AM
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Re: The New York City Gang Of Four

Thanks for the trip down memory lane, chas. I can still remember lugging my suitcase full of minis and terrain onto the subway to play games at Neutral Ground in Manhattan. Funny to think of how different things might've turned out for us if they'd managed to stay in business.

Taeblewalker may be further away now, but at least we can still see him here on the site!
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Old December 28th, 2013, 07:05 PM
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Re: The New York City Gang Of Four

A very heartfelt and welcome post, Chas. I will definitely make it a point to come down there when I can!

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Old December 29th, 2013, 02:21 PM
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Re: The New York City Gang Of Four

Well met!

From my Notes from Jamaica blog post:

* * * * *

I have been fortunate, I know, to be able to 'Scape with relatively responsible and supportive fellows for so long, and for us to have grown exponentially in our knowledge and enjoyment of 'Scaping. Sadly, the Gang of Four is being reduced to Three, as Taeblewalker is leaving our little group indefinitely. Chas is far more eloquent than I - see his post in the Heroscape General Forum - about the quality of the time we spent 'Scaping, and the unusual nature of the group. His kindness and generosity of spirit will be sorely missed, as will the unique perspective he brought to the table. I have only recently begun hosting the Gang at my place, with great enjoyment as anyone reading my blog posts can attest, and it remains to be seen how often the remaining Three will be able to gather together at one time in the future.

I'm baaaaaaack! [but reentry is a #$%^&! ]











This was where I was writing from in Negril, Jamaica. It's called Blue Cave Castle. I shall endeavor to incorporate elements of it into my next map.








We stayed in Room 4 (cropped view from outside, view from, and interior pic, below).












Next Generation


Last edited by kolakoski; December 29th, 2013 at 04:41 PM.
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Old January 8th, 2014, 11:39 AM
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Re: The New York City Gang Of Four

I'm happy to say that Taeblewalker has been able to return after our "last" Scape game together before he moved away. He is now about a 2 1/2 hour drive upstate. You can usually keep up with what we're doing Scapewise monthly on Kolakoski's blog, which often reports on our adventures together with pictures!

On his last visit three of us plus my pal 'Tag' played board games: Samurai Battles and Firefly the Game. I have a separate threads for SB onsite under Other Board Games, and discuss the new FF a lot on What Board Games Are You Playing?

This Friday Jan. 10 we're experimenting with combining Supers with Classic/VC Scaping, in a scenario made up by Sherman Davies on his Amon Hen map. We'll be using six of SD's Marvel Supers Customs (see his own threads for Marvel and DC under Customs Comic Creations in the Marvelscape section). SD and I participated recently in Griznakh's supers game out on Long Island, using his great buildings, as we playtested the first 40 of his own Supers (see his separate super customs thread, custom terrain thread with amazing photos, and other of his works onsite, as well as his Long Island Scaping Group Events thread and annual tournament thread).

I'd like to get to the point where we can use Supers from anywhere when we build our armies, so I can get more out from my huge files (see The Chas Supers Master Lists under Marvelscape/Custom Supers Creations). For example, I did a solo game using the C3G Mr. Terrific, and its a fun card to use, but haven't been able to get it into a group game yet!

SD and I played two games recently where civilians were involved to be killed/rescued as alternate victory conditions. I'd worked on this in solo games myself. This next game will include this concept again.

We're all pretty active onsite; for example so don't miss Taeblewalker's article in the revived issue of our Heroscape Codex magazine; I think the issue is over 50 pages long!

And if you Scape or board game in NYC or will be passing through, let us know, we've had 'guest stars' both from the area and visitors in past games, and everyone is welcome to drop on by. Our only 'rule' if you join an 'official monthly' game is that you have to be willing to try out whatever the current GM turn taker puts on the table! We'll be happy to adjust to a different number of players for you.

Last edited by chas; June 27th, 2015 at 12:13 PM.
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Old January 8th, 2014, 01:31 PM
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Re: The New York City Gang Of Four

Well met!

This Friday Jan. 10 we're experimenting with combining Supers with Classic/VC Scaping, in a scenario made up by Sherman Davies on his Amon Hen map. We'll be using six of SD's Marvel Supers Customs (see his own threads for Marvel and DC under Customs Comic Creations in the Marvelscape section). ~ chas

The specifics of the scenario we'll be playing can be found in
The Gang of Four Returns! There will indeed be the usual battle report with pictures posted in my blog within a day or two after the games are completed.

Our only 'rule' if you join an 'official monthly' game is that you have to be willing to try out whatever the current GM turn taker puts on the table! ~ chas

My plans for when I am GM are, of course, a bit different from chas' and, given this scenario, Sherman's. They are centered on building new maps, to be set up in my Living Room, such as
What a Fine Mess! (scenario yet to be determined),


without Supes, but with VC customs, and
Delta/Delta+ pricing.

I'm happy to say that Taeblewalker has been able to return after our "last" Scape game together before he moved away. ~ chas

When Taeblewalker moved away, and Sherman was unable to make a number of games, I was afraid that it was all over for us. Now it appears that we'll be continuing to 'Scape together awhile longer.
Someday, the Gang of Four will play its last game. I'm thankful that it hasn't happened yet, and hopeful that that day is far, far in the future. 'Scape on!



Next Generation


Last edited by kolakoski; January 8th, 2014 at 02:33 PM.
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Old May 1st, 2015, 11:50 PM
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Re: The New York City Gang Of Four

I just want to correct Kolakoski's last post. I won the first game, not Sherman Davies. chas got it right.

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Old May 2nd, 2015, 02:19 AM
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Re: The New York City Gang Of Four

Well met!

My bad! It was all a nightmarish blur . . .



Next Generation

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Old May 2nd, 2015, 07:20 AM
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Re: The New York City Gang Of Four

THE ILLINOIS SMITH MEMORIAL TREASURE HUNT
A PULP ADVENTURE SUPERSCAPE SCENARIO

BY CHAS, NYCG4 (5/3/15 draft)


MISSION BRIEFING: TOPMOST SECRET

Good morning Mr. Player. Last night a war damaged Kree spaceship entered Earth’s atmosphere, and was immediately shot down by an advanced nuclear defense satellite of a certain power. Unfortunately, it crashed deep in the Amazon rain forest. Recovery teams from several competing governments are now being scrambled to salvage any high tech items that may be scattered near the ruins of this vessel. Because these governments wish to keep their expeditions a secret, no high profile superheroes will be sent. Instead, you team will be comprised of several minor superheroes, available squads of Super or Classic/VC varieties, and one Tech Squad as detailed below and provided by the sponsoring nation. Transportation will be provided to the crash site in 24 hours.

If you or any of your team are killed or captured, the Secretary will disavow all knowledge of your actions. This DVD will self destruct in 60 seconds. Good luck, Player.

***

ARMIES

Each player army may be composed of 800 points, and must include one C Level Super (201-240 Points) and at least one D Level Super (Up to 200 Points), one and only one Tech Squad of 100 Points (see sample card below) plus any one other Super/Classic/VC squad. It may include a further number of D Level Supers and/or Super/Classic/VC squads (only one of any Unique Squad per player as usual). Supers Cards may be of either alignment (Good or Evil); squad from any Classic General mixed together or not as desired (including the new April/May 2015 C3V release, except for Zettian Deathwings). There are no space limitations, due to an offboard entry mechanism (see below).

Armies must be submitted to the GM and duplicate Supers will not be allowed. However, duplicate squads are permissible among different players—squad members (and all Tech Squad proxies) must therefore be individually marked (usually on top or bottom of their bases) so as to be identifiable by player ownership.

Supers Game cards may be drawn for any of the approved designers on the Chas Qucik Scan Master Lists, but all cards are subject to the usual pregame review and GM approval.

GLYPH RULES

1. C3G Equipment Glyph Rules are in effect:

If your glyph carrier is wounded or destroyed, choose a player to place the glyph within 5 spaces of that figure. Glyphs may be transferred between adjacent figures at the beginning or end of the carrier’s movement. Only one glyph per figure may be carried/used at a time. Glyphs may be voluntarily dropped and picked up at any time during a figure’s movement--no glyph may be dropped where another already exists.

2. Only Tech squads may defuse/ignore traps on glyphs, and analyze them. Once the trap is defused, it no longer has any effect on anyone. Tech Squad members may also use glyphs. Other figures who pick up glyphs not yet recovered by Tech Squads must roll for traps. Glyphs when recovered after their trap is defused (no damage taken from it) are turned over to their power side (Brandar’s Chest) indicating they may now be safely carried by any eligible figure.. Note that they are not identified (usable) unless Analyzed by a Tech Squad member).

3. Unique/ Uncommon Heroes may pick up and carry glyphs, but are subject to traps and may not analyze (and therefore use) them. Heroes can however use glyphs once they are analyzed (both turned face up and identified by the Game Master). Only analyzed glyphs may be used at all by anyone.

4. Common Heroes/Regular squad members may pick up and carry but not use glyphs, even after analysis/identification.

5. There are no “original” glyphs started or identifiable in this scenario (see Tech.
Squad Powers on that card).

6. Note that once a glyph is analyzed it is placed power side up, and may then be used by any other player’s Tech Squad member or Unique Hero.

7. Glyphs used will be C3G Equipment Glyphs chosen by the GM and placed on a random D20 roll table. Once a glyph is successfully analyzed (identified), we will roll randomly on the Scenario Glyph Table to see what it turns out to be, and its identity will be written out and the description given to the owner. Glyphs with powers not relevant to the scenario or of ‘cosmic’ strength will not be used.

8. Glyphs may not be flown, teleported, or leaped. Glyphs may not be walked more than five spaces per turn. Glyphs may only be carried by one figure each turn (not chain passed).

9. Glyph Traps will function as normal Treasure Glyph traps: a D20 roll of 1-5 will give one wound. If a wound is generated, the trap remains in effect. If not, the trap is “defused” and the glyph is placed power side up (Brandar’s Chest).

10. All cards which say “when standing on a (Regular) Glyph” or “when carrying a Treasure Glyph” are changed to “when carrying a C3G Equipment Glyph.”

GAME LENGTH: 10 Turns

TEAM INSERTION ZONES: At game start, players will roll for entry order, and may in that order choose one of the marked three hex wide Team Insertion Zones (near the map corners on the long sides), where all of their figures must enter the board, with the first board hex counting as the first movement space. No powers of figures still off the board will be considered in effect.

VICTORY POINTS

1 VP for each unanalyzed glyph in the possession of any owned figure

2 VP for each analyzed glyph in the possession of any owned figure

3 VP for each unanalyzed glyph exited off the board from the original team insertion zone.

5 VP for each analyzed glyph exited off the board from the original team insertion zone.


TECH SQUAD
(3 Figures)

1 Life
Range 5
Attack 1
Defense 2
100 Points

Human
Unique Squad
Engineers
Careful
Medium 5

Equip
May pick up, carry, and use any one "original" Equipment/Treasure Glyph specified by name at game start. This particular Glyph may either begin the game equipped by a Tech Squad member or be picked up during the game.

Recover
Tech Squad members may automatically defuse any trap on the glyph, taking no damage. Any Equipment/Treasure Glyph may be picked up and carried by any Tech Squad member according to the Glyph rules being used.

Analyze
This ability may be used for a squad member carrying a Glyph other than the "original" glyph named at game start. If the squad member possesses a glyph picked up or handed to him on a previous turn, and does not move this turn, he may, instead of attacking, roll the twenty-sided die: 11-20: Glyph Analyzed.
Place a marker on this card after an unsuccessful attempt. Add +1 for each one when a subsequent attempt is made on the same Glyph. Once a particular Glyph has been successfully analyzed, any Tech Squad member may use that Glyph for the remainder of the game.

Good OR Evil
This squad may be chosen by teams of either alignment, and is considered loyal to that side.

***


THE NEW MOLTEN LAVA DAMAGE RULES are in effect:

When any figure not immune to lava damage enters a Molten lave hex, roll one combast die, performing the following actions depending on the results:

Blank: Figure takes no damage; but remove an Order Markers on that card; the OMs removed are not revealed to other players. For squad cards, on the affected figure(s) may not be activated for the rest of the round.

Skull: Roll three combat dice, taking one unblockable wound for each skull rolled. This may result in no damage.

Shield: Roll three combat dice, taking all wounds possible (down to) the number of shields rolled. If no shields are rolled, the figure is destroyed.

THE MAP

The Amazon rain forest. The steamy, stinking, slimy, snaky jungle. No roads or other man made structures exist in this wild, forsaken, humid wilderness. From a hilltop that marks some of the highest terrain in the area, any recovery party must descend down into a morass of swamp, sandbars, shadow, swamp and other water, sheer rock outcrops, and the thick cover of jungle tree and bush. The hearty adventurer in search of high tech treasure near the forbidden wreckage of a crashed alien spaceship must trudge to the center of this maze. But there, on an island of solid land, await dangers known only to the strange gods that rule this land of desolation!


TO BE DECIDED AND POSSIBLY ANNOUNCED LATER

*Number of glyphs scattered about the map; probably so many per player

*Other surprises known only to the Game Master!

(Note: if you want a complete copy of this scenario, you must add the separate document “Game Master Only File—Illinois Smith,” to be released after our May 27, 2015 game.)

Last edited by chas; May 28th, 2015 at 11:48 AM.
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Old May 26th, 2015, 12:52 PM
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Re: The New York City Gang Of Four

Well met!

It sounds like the Start Zones are elevated.

THE MAP

The Amazon rain forest. The steamy, stinking, slimy, snaky jungle. No roads or other man made structures exist in this wild, forsaken, humid wilderness. From a hilltop that marks some of the highest terrain in the area, any recovery party must descend down into a morass of swamp, sandbars, shadow, swamp and other water, sheer rock outcrops, and the thick cover of jungle tree and bush. The hearty adventurer in search of high tech treasure near the forbidden wreckage of a crashed alien spaceship must trudge to the center of this maze. But there, on an island of solid land, await dangers known only to the strange gods that rule this land of desolation!

P.S.: A write in vote posted in
Who Will Win? for Sherman's second army now makes it:

2 for Sherman Team I
2 for kolakoski Team I
1 for Sherman Team II
1 for Taeblewalker's Team
1 for kolakoski Team II

Still no votes for either of chas' Teams.





Next Generation

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Old May 26th, 2015, 02:10 PM
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Re: The New York City Gang Of Four

More Board Detail

The Team Deployment Zones (3 hexes) are each part of one of four large corner 48 hex (24 hexers x 2 or what I call a Building Unit) hills that are up on Level Three. The central crash site is a Level Two BU. The rest of the board is level One or Zero (water/swamp water/shadow).

Rather than being built up of a Four BU (long way) by Four BU (short dimension) rectangle as usual, this board could be called "Floating Islands." Besides the four corner hills, there are two more Level Three hills between the corner hills the long way. Two Level One BUs separate the corners the short way (North-South). Each BU is itself sepreated from all others by a row of water with a path running between each.

Two large Level One sand bars cross North-South between each set of three such BUs as you look East-West. Except for a few 7 hex or fewer "islands, the board is a Level 0 maze as described above. There are swamp water or other 'footpaths' linking all six main BUs, so that flyers are not too advantaged, but in many places these are only 1 hex wide.

This is a long cinematic trudge for the expeditions from the Deployment Zones to the central BU Crash Site, where all eight glyphs may be found scattered about. During your advance you may be attacked by Kree robot guardians or your opponents, both of whom are tracking your movements! There are hidden dangers, and possible actual bonuses, to be found once you reach the Crash Site as well, besides the glyphs themselves.

As we hear in jungle pictures that famous cry of a bird which is actually native to Down Under (I heard it with Taeblewalker on our last visit to the Bronx Zoo):

OOH-OOH-EEE-EEE-EEE-CAW-CAW-CAW!
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