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Old April 12th, 2012, 04:33 PM
Templar Templar is offline
 
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Why I stopped playing Heroscape

Now try not to get mad, and just hear me out before I go into details. I love Heroscape. Heroscape is the game that got me started into miniature war gaming. I say started, because as much as I loved Heroscape, I started to drift away, and ended up getting into other games. The reasons I loved the game soon turned into reasons why I hated the game. Try and understand where I am coming from. I know lots of you might not agree, and that is fine. This is just a personal view. Some of the reasons I got out of Heroscape are of no fault to the game itself. None the less they are reasons I stopped playing.

1. Building the map. When I first got the game I loved the idea of customizing and building my own maps. I soon started to hate it. It took way to long for set up, and often times the maps seemed unbalanced. I lacked some of the older sets, so I had little in way of terrain. Other then making hills the game became and range war.

2. I was late to the game. By the time I started playing, Heroscape was canceled. I had no way to get the older sets, unless I wanted to spend double or triple the price. I was devastated when I finally had to acknowledge that there were some sets I would never get to own. When I heard it was canceled it almost ruined the game for me right then and there. I only hung on because I thought someone else would buy the rights.

3. Community. No one where I live plays the game, at least competitively. Few game stores carried Heroscape. When I would tell local gamers about how I was into Heroscape I would get blank stares, and they would just go back to playing 40k or some other miniatures game. Don’t get me wrong. The community here online is awesome. This was really my only source of a Heroscape community, which I am thankful for.

4. Storage. I still have all my Heroscape because I just can’t part with it. However it takes up more space then all my other game combined. I have 3 massive storage bins full. I couldn’t even imagine what I would do if I had all of the sets like many of you do. My wife threatens to throw it all away because it takes up so much space and I hardly play with it.

5. Skirmish based game. After I started playing the game it seemed really small. Anymore then 500 point games seemed to take forever, but 500 point games seemed small. I felt really limited with the game. I wanted to field more miniatures, but it felt like that took away from the game.

6. Cost. I thought the game was pretty expensive when I was buying on discount from House and Mouse. Cost is also what kept many of my friends from not getting into it. Not to mention the cost of the older sets that you can only get second hand on ebay or craigslist.


Once again, try not to hate on me to much. I have many reasons why I love the game, but if I wrote on that it would be preaching to the choir. I sometimes feel as if I am cheating on my first lover Heroscape, but now that I have put into words what I feel I don't feel as bad.
Was that last part a little dramatic?
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Old April 12th, 2012, 04:44 PM
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Aldin Aldin is offline
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Re: Why I stopped playing Heroscape

Fair enough, Templar. I think though that you may be missing the point of your own post if you think anyone will hate you for it. You're disappointed. You wish you could have found HS earlier. You wish there was a closer community of players. You wish you had access to all the cool stuff. These are comments that praise the game, not ones that bury it.

I guess I'm bummed for you. I'm kinda bummed for me, since the number of folks I play with and the frequency with which I play both dropped dramatically when I moved from the Bay Area to Nashville. No matter how you look at it though, HS was a really nifty game and concept that plays remarkably well for something simple enough for kids and deep enough for adults.

Glad posting this was cathartic for you. May I recommend you hold on to your stuff, though? I've known more than one person who cleared out their three bins of stuff only to find a year later that they really wished they hadn't. The bug will bite again, you'll find someone local to explore the game with and you'll find that HS does that strange combination of entry level and highly aesthetic better than anything else out there.

~Aldin, who also uses the minis for his Pathfinder games

He either fears his fate too much
or his desserts are small
That dares not put it to the touch
to gain or lose it all
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Old April 12th, 2012, 04:49 PM
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Re: Why I stopped playing Heroscape

Sorry to hear you feel that way. Though they either don't apply to me or don't bother me, I can still completely understand your reasons. I hate to lose a member of the community, but I'm glad you were able to work out how you felt by putting it into words (not always an easy thing!). I wish you luck in all your future gaming.

EDIT: If you are having trouble finding people to play games with, have you tried HeroSkype? I haven't used it myself, but it looks great and I know others have had success with it.

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Old April 12th, 2012, 04:50 PM
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Lord Pyre Lord Pyre is offline
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Re: Why I stopped playing Heroscape

Psh, I don't hate you, I totally agree with a lot of that. As cool as map building is in the beginning, if you don't have space to store premade maps and have to constantly build and tear down, it gets real old. We all know how crappy it was that it was canceled, so no worries there! And yeah, the only person I really play with is my brother (And occasionally my fiance). I stopped playing Monsterpocalypse because I had no one to play with.

I think you are totally justified. I just wish you were closer so I could hopefully change your mind with a few games.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 07:51 PM
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Re: Why I stopped playing Heroscape

I think everyone understands and sympathizes with most of what you said, Templar. You're not saying the game is bad, you're saying you're frustrated by the lack of access to figures and opportunities to play.

You could always give online play a shot...
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  #6  
Old April 12th, 2012, 09:24 PM
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Re: Why I stopped playing Heroscape

Echoing the others-- no hate here! I'd also echo that you should probably hold onto your stuff if you can. I don't know your family situation, but the game is a fantastic one to share with kids once they're old enough to grasp it. If you (or anyone close to you) have kids in the future, you might find yourself in a Heroscape Renaissance. It's hard to say what the future holds, so I'd hate for your frustration to double if you unload all your stuff and then an awesome gamer buddy moves in next door a year from now.

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Old April 13th, 2012, 06:07 AM
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Re: Why I stopped playing Heroscape

I HATE YOU! I REALLY, REALLY DO!!!!!

Did you know that 5 exclamation points is a sign of insanity? I'm not insane, other than hating you for that post.

I am glad you posted this, and glad you shared with us. It's always nice to hear why people stopped playing this game I/we love.

I have to agree with you on some points. It is a pain to store. It is definitely a pain to set up (if you can't store premade maps). In fact I hate having to build maps every time I want to play so much that I've started building maps exclusively for the space I can store it in. I've recently built miniaturized versions of BOV maps so that I don't have to worry about setting it up.

But balance, and worrying about balance, is one reason I primarily use BOV (Battlefields of Valhalla) maps. I agree, random maps are just too easy to get wrong at first.

As far as community goes, I REALLY know how you feel. Living in Turkey I basically have to create my own fans. If I don't then I have no one to play with.

And about the skirmish element? Well, there you're just saying you don't like the heart of the game, so there's really nothing for me to say. It is basically about small group tactics.

But take care, and feel the love. I'm really happy to hear someone explain what it is that makes them not like HS for a change.
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Old April 13th, 2012, 09:22 AM
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Re: Why I stopped playing Heroscape

We came to Heroscape in a strange way. I played with tiny children and had to customize the game so they could understand it. We were limited by budget and had almost nothing so custom figures came before Classic to us. My point?

You have three bins of amazing terrain and figures. It's not just one game called Heroscape. You have terrain for any miniature game you wish now. You have figures for any game. Our custom game uses larger armies and we've redone the point system so 500 points is a decent sized army. We play skirmishes sometimes too. And as soon as we feel our game is lacking somehow, we change it. And every once in a while we play regular old Heroscape too.

Think of those bins as infinite possibility- building blocks- to create whatever game you wish. And you'll still have all the pieces for Scape too!

(don't get rid of them....)
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  #9  
Old April 16th, 2012, 08:04 AM
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Re: Why I stopped playing Heroscape

You know, wargaming is a hobby, not a marriage. Playing another game is not adultery. I haven't played a HS game in weeks (gasp!) but have warggamed regularly. Right now, my son is into strictly historical WWII games, so we've been playing with the rules from Paper Tigers Armaments. Before that it was Stalingrad with 1-48 Combat.
You game in phases, and it's best to have different rules for different games. If you use the same rules for everything, something I've done, after a while it just feels like the same game with different toy soldiers. Although HS is my go-to system for mash-ups, I play at least 3 others regularrly because I want the particular flavor they bring to the game. I don't feel HS works with high point values (or with armies that have more than 5-6 different units n the board at any time). When what you want is a bigger scale game, you should try something else.
Now to that board build: HS takes up a lot of time and space with terrain. I often set up one board, and play it 4 or 5 times before knocking it down. If you swap starting zones, then sides, you get 4 fresh looks at the same board. I've also used the HS rules with a paper map. Not as satisfying, but quicker to set up.
Here's a trustworthy saying: "Wargames expand to fill the space allotted for them." Time, tablespace, money. It holds for all of them. I'm an admittedly cheap gamer. I use proxies freely. I print greyscale versions of cards I know I'm only going to use once. I don't have a complete set of every booster. And I don't need them. I print free rules from sites I've surfed. Heck sometimes I don't print them - I just leave them on my laptop. saves paper. It sounds like you've reached the limit of the space allotted in your life.
I've never played tournaments and I've been wargamingsince 1973. My best friend was my usual opponent. He moved away in 1978. I've gamed with other groups ever since, but I've always advocated solo gaming. Even when I had a regular opponent, I would be interested in something he or she wasn't and so I'd set up a solo game in that esoteric era or setting that I'd dreamed up. Soloing is actually good for you. You can practice, tweak army builds, etc.
Sorry for an overly long post. I'm an old gamer and I've probably been through every phase there is. It's just discouraging to hear about people starting to play, then playing something as if they had OCD, then dropping it like it was radioactive when they reached the limit of the system.

Not one step backwards!
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Old April 16th, 2012, 08:38 AM
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Re: Why I stopped playing Heroscape

There are many games out there. Your relationship with one is just a phase in your life, and even in your gaming life! We all spend more time on games with other locals who like them too, if our more favorite games end up being played solo! So check out the threads on the Off Topic section here on other games, and visit www.boardgamegeek.com.

Quite a few of us are Scapers, but not only Scapers...
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Old April 16th, 2012, 02:50 PM
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1Mmirg 1Mmirg is offline
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Re: Why I stopped playing Heroscape

Heroscape is as much about what it is as what we dream it were. The things that attract us--like infinite battlefields--become the things that repel us--realizing things are finite, including time, space, and money.

My Scape is much less used than it used to be. My wife bought a Wii (and I lost my sons--well, not quite, but I lost a lot of Scape time). My daughter got older (and less interested in joining me at tourneys). And I really like Risk Legacy, Summoner Wars, Last Night, Dominion, and all the other games we have. Scape still gets in its share, but it's not like it used to be.

Scape takes a lot of space. It's hard to start up a group, when the pieces keep getting rarer. It's costly. It's got a lot of challenges.

For most of us, whether we recognize it or not, it's about the pay-off of a game versus its costs.

Every game has both. We may keep getting the "new" game, hoping it doesn't. But I've yet to find one that doesn't. Puerto Rico and Agricola (etc.) can get awfully fiddly and unforgiving; Dominion can feel repetitive at a base level--even with new cards; Risk can feel luck-driven and, well, can ruin friendships; Ticket to Ride can just be too light for your mood; Twilight Struggle, Allies and Axis, etc. can all simply be too long; etc. and etc.

But all of those are great games as well. The question for all of us is when the drawbacks match the rewards.

--

For me, with my sons, Scape still is worth it, more than worth it. But I know that it may not be for everyone. That someone else has outgrown the game, had the drawbacks increase for them and tip the scales over the reward, etc. doesn't take away from my fun.

I agree with everyone who has said to take a break and see where you are in a while. You may cycle back around. (I hadn't played Risk in years, before Legacy came out--now I'm hooked as can be--more than when I was a kid--and after 15 games, I'm still going strong, too.)

Most of all, make sure you enjoy your down time. You have only so much leisure time and money, spend it well. Make sure it's rewarding to you.

And, someday, I'll look forward to you (or someone else) posting "Why I came back to Scape." For now, find what you love and enjoy!
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Old April 16th, 2012, 06:29 PM
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Re: Why I stopped playing Heroscape

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Mmirg View Post
And, someday, I'll look forward to you (or someone else) posting "Why I came back to Scape." For now, find what you love and enjoy!
A year or two ago, I stopped playing Scape. I had no one to play with, setting up took too long, and I began to find soloscaping boring. I put it away in my closet and didnt touch it for a while.

A few months later, I decided I should sell my collection, even if I took a loss on it. I prepared to sell it in small lots, but never got around to it. I didn't know that Scape was out of production for several months!

Last Christmas, one of my friends got Risk. He loved it and our group of friends began to play it. I asked them why they found it so great, when they had turned down Scape so many times. They said that after playing Risk, they would love to play. I set up a map and invited them over. We hardly played and once more, my hopes of ever scaping again were dashed.

Then, a miracle occurred! Another day, as we were discussing Risk and Settlers, another one of my friends mentioned that he owned Scape! After an awesome discussion about Scape, I arranged to have him and some other friends over for a few hours of pure scaping. It was beautiful! Everyone was so focused on the games that they would yell whenever they took or dealt wounds! I now have a group of friends who are more anxious about Scape than I am (I can soloscape)! I also now have returned to crafting maps and armies with great enthusiasm!

So that is why I came back to Scape.

I love it when a plan comes together!
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