An Epic Game of Epic Epicness

My first wargaming love, err <thinks>... fourth?... well somewhere in the top ten anyway has always been Epic in it's various guises, ever since my first white dwarf (152). Truly an apt name, nothing else has ever conveyed quite the gravitas or captured the ENTIRE GALAXY IN FLAMES!!! feel as Epic does.
Prototype template

Never a perfect system, every version has brought a different experience, and what I've recently wanted to experience was gigantic titans of doom. Having recently ebayed a mass of titans, I cobbled together a simple set of rules (I think I like designing games more than playing them) from all the previous iterations (including the recent GW created one floating around on the net).

I stole the Imperator's plasma allocation for example (that always struck me as an exceedingly elegant way to introduce tension into a game), simplified "to hit" and damage using the space crusade dice (which are excellent tools conveying two different kinds of information as they do), and reduced damage effects to a damage track as per a million different games.

So a couple of weeks ago, as part of a weekend of games-of-stupid-fun a friend and I tried it out!

The undeniable awesomeness of styrofoam buildings
On the plus side, Titan combat was just as awesome fun as I remember from my youth. We both felt the energy allocation was a fun aspect and it allowed for a lot of wily tactical ploys. Sequencing worked out pretty much as I wanted too but definitely would play out better in the multi player game it was intended for.

On the bad side, the structure check was a wee bit clunky. I mean it's fine and it adds drama when the stricken player rolls for his survival but it just didn't feel that clean. Plasma weapons were also a bit meh. Didn't really convey the risk.

On the ugly side though, was something unexpected and with hindsight kind of obvious after all these years of gaming.

Tape measures are annoying. Very annoying. And worse than measuring centimetres - measuring angles.  Sadface. :'(

Ugh. My friend has an aversion to wargames in general because of this and it wasn't until I played against him that it dawned on me how right he is. As a simulation mechanism it allows huge variety and precision. As a game mechanic it's about as artificial and disruptive an experience as you could think to manufacture.

So we moved on.

Space Fleet = good broadsiding times. Lost both times but it was hilarious when we kept accidentally ramming each other's ships.

Small World = hilarious. Must buy underground now. Mudmen FTW.

Heroscape = damn that's a silly game of random stupid fun. Won both games with a particular highlight being when my paratroopers shot Captain America to death while my friends' dinosaur riding orc wandered uselessly around the wrong side of the lake being shot to death by a giant robot just after he managed to eat some useless samurai. Seriously, I recommend to anyone to grab a copy if they can find one.

Heroscape is also a game of vast amounts of hex tiles...

Eureka! A quick google later and hey presto, hex mats. A hex mat to fit my dining table will set me back 50 quid, which is a high price but within limits for the quality it appears to be. A 10cm hex grid should fit titan bases well, naturally segues into a D6 system for scatter and randomisation, and trivially fixes the stupid measuring and turning problem. I just have to decide between desert (I have a Dune fixation), urban (heresy appropriate), and arctic (I grew up in Calgary, tundra feels like home). Decisions, decisions!

So next step while I think on that and wait for the order (seven weeks backlog!) is to revise the rules I've written to accommodate this new hex plan. And after that it'll be to write up some rules for the hordes - I have altogether too many 6mm men standing idle, and tanks, infantry, and cavalry are what really put the sweeping scale into Epic. I'll post about that more frequently than I have been able to post about actual models because of course brain time is easier to find than paint time.

I have no expectations on a niche subject post on my no traffic blog, but if anybody was to give my iteration of Titanicus a go I'd really appreciate their thoughts! Rewards for insight might even be forthcoming!

No comments:

Post a Comment