Sunday, October 19, 2014

National Heroscape Day 2014

It’s been a busy weekend for us, since it was once again National Heroscape Day.  So I can’t say that I have time for a proper post.  But here’s some references to what the hell I’m talking about:

And some references that may only make sense if you actually play the game:

You may recall (from very recently if you just read through some of those links up there) that, two years ago, I brought my eldest, his analogue in our Sister Family, and the Smaller Animal (although he and I played together as a team).  Last year, the Smaller Animal was sick, so I brought the eldest, his analogue, and two of his other friends (these four don’t have a formal name yet, but I often refer to them as the Merry Men ... which I suppose you could consider sexist of me, since one of them is female, but that’s not intended, I assure you).  This year, it was all those people, plus the Smaller Animal’s sister family analogue as well—they played together as a team, but without any adult supervision, which I consider a major advance.  So I provided 6 of the 10 participants in the tourney, and provided all the armies for 7 of the 10, which on the one hand makes me feel like I’m almost single-handedly keeping the game alive in our area, but then again I’m glad it’s still alive no matter how.

I think everyone had a great time.  The Smaller Animal (and associate) came in ahead of his older brother, which he was pretty jazzed about, especially since that came about primarily because they were paired together in the second game of the tourney and the two younger boys beat the older—I think he got cocky and played a bit too recklessly.  My middle child isn’t terribly competitive yet, certainly, but he’s no fool either, and he knows how to capitalize on any bit of luck that swings his way.  I myself had a bit of luck in my second game, when I was paired with the fellow I thought sure would win the day.  The dice weren’t going his way, definitely, but I was able to capitalize on that by playing very conservatively and forcing him to come to me while I shored up my position and shot him from afar.  In the last game, I lost on points by a measly 7 (that’s out of 520) to the other guy who was a real contender, thus securing him the tourney victory.  But I came in fourth, which is the best I’ve ever done.

The real Cinderella story here, though, is my eldest’s close friend.  This was his third tourney, and only his third time playing the game: he hasn’t been playing outside of our once-a-year event at all.  By being very low-key and seeming like he wasn’t a threat at all, but playing smart and fairly conservative and going for small gains instead of big flashy moves, he won 3 out of 4 games (including one against me, where he beat me far more badly than the fellow I considered the bigger threat) to place second overall.  It was seriously cool to see a relativele newbie do such fantastic work.  He did have a bit of luck, but I’d say his skill was the more decisive factor.

After the tourney was done, my eldest and another friend played one more game of Heroscape.  She had done decently (seventh out of 10) with her elf wizard pod and never touched her backup army (which was a Wolfpack build), so she wanted to try it out.  In turn, the demonspawn hadn’t done that well with either of his armies (as mentioned above), so he took her elves to see if he could beat her with her own army.  She dismantled her former champions with brutal efficiency, having the wolves take out the offensive powerhouse first, and then immediately slicing up the defensive bulwark.  In the end it came down to two figures on either side, just beating each other senseless back and forth, but finally the elves were able to eke out a phyrric victory.

Then we moved on to Monty Python Fluxx, where the second game went on so long and we were all drawing so many cards at once that I had to reshuffle the discards 3 times.  Finally someone won pretty much by accident and we had to head off to get everyone home.

As always, we must thank our gracious host, whose apartment complex’s rented-out rec room has served as our headquarters for the past 4 or 5 years, and the folks who brought and assembled the rest of the maps we played on, and everyone who participated in making this one of our best and most fun tournaments in quite a while.  Some of our normal diehard fans couldn’t make it this year, but I hope that doesn’t turn into a trend.  And I hope that our newer players are all firmly hooked on this great game.  And, finally, I hope we don’t end up waiting a whole ‘nother year to get together and play.  There’s no excuse for that.  This is just too much fun.

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