Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fluffy Side Up: Yani - Live at the Apocalypse

My title for this post is not just a clever play on words. This post is all about the things that turn people off to Apocalypse games - things that make the game boring. Kinda like what Yanni does to music....

No, no, no... stop. That's just awful. Not only is Yanni an easy target, but he's also a dead horse. Is he even culturally relevant anymore? God, it's like a let JiveProfessor write my jokes for me.

"HAY! Look at me, I'm Jiveproffessor!! Dragonball Z reference useful info useful info star wars reference useful info internet meme snappy closing."

Haha! I kid, I kid. And I kid because I care.

Welp, I've thoroughly fucked up my intro now by writing down what was actually going through my brain.

You want to make sex with me, yes?

Right. So..... Apocalypse.

As I mentioned previously, for all the potential the Apocalypse expansion has, there are about a billion problems with it that make it extremely hard to have a 'game' if something isn't done to mitigate those issues.

The only person who gave a shit about the last Apocalypse post hit the nail on the head:

GMort Sez:

We tend to prepare the lists a fair bit in advance and limit the quantity of certain units like Super-Heavies. The house-rule document we use is about 3 pages long now, lol. That said, we don't really play Apocalypse super-competitively It's more a chance for a load of us to get together and use those really cool Forgeworld models that we never get to use normally and show off units that don't always make it into a normal 1500-2000 point game. Good preparation is the key to an enjoyable game I find ;-)

I'm gonna grab a key phrase out of that last sentence to help make my point (such as it is): enjoyable game. That right there is the key thing that too many people miss when they set up their Apocalypse shenanigans. 40k is supposed to be a game. Good games operate under an assumption of fairness. Unfortunately, the Apocalypse system, as written, tends to get pushed to an extreme where it falls down.

Specifically, its really, really, really, really easy to simply spend your way to victory.

All those scary things like super heavy vehicles, fliers, str D weapons and 10 inch blasts don't typically come on the models you already have. For the most part, it's forgeworld stuff - very pricey forgeworld stuff. Now, in a game system where most gamers barely have enough money for a 2000 pt army, the only protection they have is the force org chart. What the fuck do they do against 3 titans if they can barely afford a couple of Land Raiders?

Remove unit limitations and the game can become a full on arms race. You spend more money, you gain an advantage. Lame. No amount of well meaning assumptions about sportsmanship and propriety will prevent that.

Which brings me to another thing GMort hit on: the best possible thing you can do to ensure a good Apocalypse game is prepare. A lot. Its not just a matter of lining up people's weekends, its taking into account the flaws in the Apocalypse rules and working toward a fair game even if its not competitive. Make those house rules, share super heavies, ban flank march - do what ya gotta do. Just make sure the eight hours you spend playing is fun for everyone, not just the guys with 4 baneblades. Whatever you do, don't half ass it.


  1. new closing line: whatever you do, even though you realize that your side has four+ super heavies to the opponent's none, don't stay up until 5 in the morning scratch building a doomsday device and plague tower for your opponents. lack of sleep does not an interesting game make.

  2. Apoc has to be planned out well ahead of time to ensure the game runs smoothly and isn't a total waste of time balance-wise.

    It's a fluff bunny thing, can't play it competitively.

  3. mm-hmm. Apocalypse is like any other wacky not-the-core-game variant: it needs the kind of player who can sit down and negotiate with their oppponent what to take to not break the system or the scenario, and who can understand why you would want to do that.

    Unfortunately, its appeal as a BIG GAME for ALL YOUR TOYS and EXPENSIVE EXTRAS tends to draw in... other sorts of players.

  4. @Chumb So you mean showing up at the game with a actual Points list somewhere in the 4 cases of shit that you brought to the game?

    Pro-tip: Your deployment time will always be in the double digit minutes...

    Although that shit was fucking hilarious.

  5. The Jive Professor line was gold.

  6. I read this days ago, but didn't{^}

    reasin: Why something is the way it is, eg; A Sultana has been dried, so most of the moisture has been artificially removed, leaving the shrunken and wrinkly texture.*

    * - Double-whammy there.