This guy was my roommate my sophomore year in college. His end of the room was basically a workshop, with all sorts of crazy inventions. I spent many days watching his various robotic walkers and snakes and vehicles work their way around the room, and/or getting pegged with his homemade crossbows and tape ball guns.
He's really put on earth to make stuff like this, and I'm so happy for him that he's managed to navigate the corporate world and actually get one of his ideas out there. This was never a sure thing, because although he's a mechanical genius and incredibly passionate about this stuff, he also might be the most stubborn person I've ever met. He has his own way of doing things and he's completely unwilling to compromise them.
You can read a short feature about him from last year's Wired Magazine here. It's about the 12-foot tall metal version of the spider walker that he built.
In the discussions in the online Heroscape tournament, I've realized that there are a bunch of different interpretations floating around about when we are supposed to reveal random power glyphs. Obviously, this is something that gets handled differently in different places. I have a strong preference for how to handle it, but rather than launch into a long diatribe there, I'd like to explain it in a blog entry.
Let's start by listing the options for how to handle the placement of random power glyphs on a map:
Power glyphs are placed power-side up before sides are picked or armies are set up.
Power glyphs are revealed after sides are picked but before armies are set up.
Power glyphs are revealed after armies are set up but before the game is played.
Power glyphs are left symbol-side up and only revealed when a figure lands on them. (This assumes that Kelda is not in the random glyph pool; otherwise it breaks the rules, since only a wounded hero can land on Kelda.)
This distinction is something that's come up a few times recently in forum discussions, so I've decided to blog it.
There's a tendency for people to say that armies that are strong are easy to play well, and armies that are weak are hard to play well. That's obviously true in a certain sense and to a certain extent, because it's easier to win with strong armies than weak ones. However, it misses another way of looking at armies: that is, "did I get everything out of the army that I could"? In other words, to what extent did you avoid mistakes and play the army to its fullest. The question of how easy an army is to play well is actually a completely different question than how strong that army is when played well.
To give an example: I think Marro Drudge x8 would be a very easy army to play well. Sure, all the normal concerns of height advantage and common squad cohesiveness apply, but there's really no extra degrees of difficulty. There's no...
There's a tendency to think that a game that comes down to a few figures on each side was won by the player who had better luck at the end. That's usually true, but it's also not the full story. Very often, that situation at the end of the game where chance rules the outcome only came about because of suboptimal decisions one or both players made along the way. In general, I think players tend to underestimate the extent to which their wins and losses are not governed by matchups or by the luck of the dice, but by the mistakes they make in strategy or tactics.
Good players tend to avoid obvious mistakes like missing a chance for height advantage or moving the wrong figure, but even good players very often make mistakes in order marker management or overall strategy. There's a tendency to say "between good players, it often comes down to matchups or luck of the dice", and while that's true, tactics also swing games.